Leadership and Ministry Development

From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus engaged in the recruitment and development of disciples for spreading the Good News among the people of Israel and eventually to all corners of the world. His approach was deceptively simple: calling to fishermen, a tax collector, a hairdresser, and other ordinary folks he encountered, with the simple declaration: “Follow me.” And though he sent them out on the byways with little more than the clothes on their backs, he instilled in them the principles of discipleship through his teaching and his action. He did not make light of the challenges and dangers facing the disciples — or the cost they would incur. But through his courage and commitment to reuniting all humanity with God and each other and restoring the Kingdom of God, he inspired confidence and devotion to the same mission in them.

Prayer, study, and praxis continue to be the foundations of our work to develop ministry and leaders in the church today. Our tools and procedures may be more complex, but the goals we strive for are much the same: developing effective leaders and ministers of the Gospel.

Commission on Mission and Development

The Commission on Mission and Development (COMD) is given the task of working with congregations who are aided parishes, parishes facing serious difficulties, or those who want to improve their leadership or ministry. We are appointed by the bishop. We do not have a chair, rather we have a convener who is selected by the members and approved by the bishop. We work collaboratively using consensus to make decisions. 

As a commission of the diocese, we are committed to:

  • Supporting the ministry of the diocese
  • Developing healthy congregations
  • Providing resources including tools, programs and people (as speakers or facilitators)
  • Making connections and links for congregations and the diocese
  • Encouraging congregations and leaders to take risks, to be innovative
  • Creating dialogue and conversation about the now and about the future by raising the opportunities for this to happen, providing formation experiences and asking tough and challenging questions
  • Identifying possible new missions and ministries and assisting those developing new missions and ministries
  • Dreaming of the future
  • Being a proactive force within our diocese

 As a ministry team, we value and see ourselves:

  • As expecting opportunities for ministry to happen and being committed to working to create them
  • As seeking to discover how church is ‘done’ and how is God calling our parishes and diocese to be the church today and in the future
  • As energetic hardworking and have that expectation for all members
  • As listeners to the parishes, the diocesan leaders and our bishop
  • As both supporting and challenging our bishop and our diocesan leaders
  • As a learning community and then as leaders or facilitators of that learning to the larger community

 Major tasks for Commission on Mission and Development:

  • Continue to learn about congregational development in a variety of ways including, where possible, having a focus topic or issue that is explored over a period of time
  • Address the issues facing our congregations in a changing culture
  • Help conversation happen between congregations, communities, and leaders
  • Oversee grant opportunities
  • Review of parish requests to the Standing Committee regarding encumbering of parish property including sale or purchase of property and entering into loans
  • Provide or make possible workshops and training in leadership and congregational development for vestry members and/or wardens and treasurers

Here's a video we produced on our parishes in redevelopment.


Leadership Development

For clergy, this work takes place in structured programs like the Church Development Institute, Fresh Start, seminars, and consultations through the Alban Institute, Credo Institute conferences, and Clergy Day gatherings; and more informally through collegial networks and fellowship opportunities at Convocation and Diocesan Convention. Additional opportunities for spiritual and vocational development are available through the Commission on Ministry and the Commission on Ministry and Development.

Checklists for Vestries

We had our Annual Meeting… now what?

The annual meeting is over and now it is time for the vestry to get to work. Usually, congregations will have an orientation for the new vestry. Every time a vestry is formed, it is a new group and needs to review roles and responsibilities.

The Commission on Mission and Development has developed some suggestions and checklists to guide you through a productive start to the new vestry year.


Alban Institute
Credo Institute
Episcopal Church Foundation
Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices