Connectional Ministries: The Role of DCM in This Season

By Rev. Dr. Kathleen E. Kind, Director of Connectional Ministries

From time to time, since the beginning of my appointment as the Director of Connectional Ministries, people (like my family and friends) have asked me what I actually do. For me, a concise summary of the role of the DCM is to help resource congregations, clergy and laity to be disciples of Jesus who are making new disciples of Jesus. And, my office does that by focusing on clergy and lay excellence, church vitality and encouraging the connection of the Church to the wider Church and the world. As I write this, I can almost hear the voices of my family and friends say, “yes, but what does that really mean?”

What that means is, my role (and this is something about which I am quite passionate) is to partner with you (as a congregation, as clergy, as laity) and help you take next faithful steps in ministry.

We are in an interesting season in the life of the Church. The impact of COVID has been significant. We do Church differently than we did in 2019. We see this in worship, small groups, age-level ministries, missions, and even the formerly ever-present food ministries (really, prior to 2020 how often did we come together and not have some sort of food—whether that was cookies or a covered dish?). And, as we move forward, we are going to continue to do Church differently.

So, in my church vitality portfolio I am excited to equip congregations for vitality as we explore ways to build relationships in our communities that lead to sharing our experiences of Jesus in our lives. In my lay excellence portfolio, Kim Shockley is working very closely with Lay Servant Ministries including Certified Lay Ministers to not only fulfill the Book of Discipline requirements, but to also help raise up new Lay Servants and CLMs. Kim has been helping Lay Leaders to know and understand their role in the local church and has been helping congregations explore why we exist, what we value, and what God might be calling the church to do next.

Even though people and positions within the annual conference have shifted in this season, our commitment to our mission and vision to grow spiritual transformational leaders, equip vital congregations and create new places for new people, and connect with each other and the world so that alive in Christ together, the Susquehanna Conference will embody the beloved community of disciple-making congregations remains unwavering.

Sometimes, at the end of a day when I’ve been busy but haven’t really gotten anything done, I have quietly wondered, what does the Director of Connectional Ministries do? And yet, I do know this; my job is to help all of us live into our mission to be followers of Jesus who help others to be followers of Jesus.