2013 Fall Update

Missouri River District

Laura Felleman

United Methodist Pastors’ Definition of Effectiveness

Highly effective local church pastors identified the following four dimensions of effectiveness. Survey respondents strongly endorsed this conceptualization of local church pastor effectiveness.


Effective pastors possess a profound inner sense of being called by God and called to ministry. This calling is manifested as a deep trust in God and the willingness to act boldly and to take risks as part of that called ministry.


Effective pastors have the ability to cast a vision and mobilize and empower people to work toward it. Effective pastors influence people in ways that will help them achieve their goals.

Transforming lives

Effective pastors are able to transform lives. People with transformed lives experience spirituality as part of their identity; that is, they incorporate spirituality into their everyday lives. People with transformed lives experience God in their lives every day of the week, not just on Sundays. Transforming lives involves helping people grow in their love for God and develop a deeper relationship with God. People with transformed lives also have a genuine desire for spiritual growth.

Helping others

Effective pastors help people discover and utilize their gifts for the good of their communities. They help people grow personally as well as spiritually. They help people become better, more spiritual people who make better decisions and have stronger, healthier relationships with God and others.

“Clergy Effectiveness: National Survey Results Summary”

Richard P. DeShon, Ph.D.

Michigan State University

January 12, 2012

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

The United Methodist Church