GCFA Quadrennial Training Hosts Three Hundred Church Leaders
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Over Three Hundred Church Leaders Attend Quadrennial Training Hosted by the General Council on Finance and Administration
Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) recently concluded Quadrennial Training for Church Leadership in Jacksonville, Florida. Three hundred-twenty annual conference leaders attended the event which ran October 31 - November 2, was held for several leadership roles. Those in attendance included Chairs of the Finance and Administration, Personnel, Trustee, Equitable Compensation, and Episcopacy Committees, along with Annual Conference Secretaries, Treasurers and Statisticians. Fifty-three of the fifty-six annual conferences in the United States were represented.
Each quadrennium as changes are made in the Book of Discipline by the General Conference, GCFA hosts training that will familiarize Church leadership with the changes that affect their respective administrative ministries. Also covered with the attendees are best practices around the denomination for each ministry field.
In a move to minimize the amount of paper used to produce documents, GCFA utilized the ConnectToGCFA app and developed a specialized web-based portal for the event using Ezra. Ezra is the official database of The United Methodist Church. Within the database, information about local churches, clergy appointments, and church leadership is contained.
Skills Session were held for each of the leadership roles in attendance. Plenary sessions focused on finance as ministry and effective leadership of meetings and personnel. Vendors that provide services or products for United Methodist local churches, annual conferences and agencies sponsored booths for attendees to visit and learn more about the services offered. Several general Church agencies were also in attendance to share their ministries with this audience.
Leaders included trainers from several annual conferences and GCFA staff members. Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett, who was the Worship Director for the 2016 General Conference, served as the Worship Leader for the two-and-a-half day conference. The worship sessions focused on the conference theme of Engage, Connect, Lead. General Secretaries of eight other general Church boards and agencies were in attendance as panel participants to answer questions on collaborating as agencies and their future for the Church through their ministries.
Many participants for the Quad Training for Church Leadership event remain in Jacksonville for the Extended Cabinet meeting convened by the Council of Bishops. The coordination of these events helps reduce costs of producing two events in separate locations – reducing administrative and travel costs for many annual conferences and the general Church.
Moses Kumar, the General Secretary of the General Council on Finance and Administration, said “the goal of this event each quadrennium is to equip our annual conference leadership in their roles. This is an event that brings together the best trainers and the best workers in ministry for The United Methodist Church.” In his opening address he said the conference is another way we can “be in conversation across the connection about how to best impact the way we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world through the work we do together.”