The primary task of a bishop is the primary task of a diocese. Our 2014 Bishop Search Profile has a lengthy section on the primary task of our diocese (see pages 20-25), interpreting and drawing on the data the Search Committee gathered across the diocese during the 20 listening events held from January through March of this year. The data reveals a strong desire in all parts of the diocese for a primary leadership focus on the development of healthy and faithful parishes.
What a bishop does, part 2, interprets the ‘job list’ you’ll find in the previous blog below, What Does a Bishop Do?
What a bishop does, interpreting the vows of consecration, is to help focus all members in the diocese on a vision for, and accomplishment of the primary task–the development of healthy and faithful parishes. There are two accompanying major emphases of any episcopacy, also primary to a bishop’s work. We can prepare ourselves for such a primary task and for our new bishop, by paying attention to new language creating new possibilities in the way we change and grow in leadership and in parish life.
Here is what Bob Gallagher, OA, Congregational and Parish Development consultant, has to say on The Three Primary Tasks of a Diocese:
There are three areas that constitute the essential work of a bishop and a diocese.
1. The renewal and revitalization of parish churches.
The bishop needs to help all the parishes be communities that live and worship to the glory of God and in which the baptized are formed as instruments of God’s love in their lives in families, the workplace, with friends and in civic life. This includes seeing that all parishes have worship that sweeps people off their feet.
2. Engaging the region of the diocese
The diocese is called to work for justice and compassion in its state or city, on its own, as well as in cooperation with parishes and in collaboration with other denominations, organizations and institutions.
3. Connecting the diocese with the larger church
The bishop is an essential connection with the national and international life of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The bishop also has a responsibility to help parishes be grounded in the Anglican ethos.
“There are also all sorts of odds and ends a bishop may need to deal with but these three things are the core,” Bob Gallagher said to the group of Diocesan leaders gathered on April 27 this year, in considering our Listening Event data. ” And the renewal and revitalization of parish churches is the primary task.”
To read more about Bob Gallagher’s work and understanding of diocesan, congregational and parish health, click here: http://www.congregationaldevelopment.com/about-us/