The older I get, the more I seem to procrastinate in getting my Charge Conference paperwork together. Case in point — our Charge Conference is Wednesday and I’m sitting here typing in this pointless post.
I think my struggle comes in knowing that the hierarchy of our conference seems pretty ambivalent about the power and possibility of the Charge Conference. More often than not it’s simply interpreted as a mandatory meeting that we have to get through, rather than an opportunity for conversation and celebration on God’s work in a particular congregation. Charge Conference’s are often boring because we don’t come to them with great expectations for God’s Spirit to be present and at work.
One of my favorite D.S’s that I’ve had the pleasure to work with is Ed Tomlinson who was the DS in the Rome/Carrollton District of the North Georgia Conference while I was in seminary. Ed used to encourage his pastors to be creative in designing their charge conferences, using whatever means available to make them fun and interesting. Thus I saw people doing Charge Conferences as game shows, and Charge Conferences as theater, and many many folks integrating the Charge Conference meeting into worship. These provided a context for the conversation and transformed what has become a dry and stuffy meeting in most churches into something with great meaning.
How do you experience your Charge Conference?