Core Competencies and Dimensions


The Kentucky Annual Conference has identified four (4) basic core competencies that are crucial in the life of an effective clergy leader. Effectiveness is defined as the graced ability of the pastoral leader to guide the local congregation in fulfilling its primary task.

These four competencies are 1) Centering in Christ, 2) Preaching/Teaching, 3) Equipping and 4) Leading. Each of these four (4) competencies is further divided by identifiable and measurable aspects which comprise areas of development and focus crucial to those who would be leaders. These seventeen dimensions of effective leadership form the basis for the ongoing development of effective clergy leaders.

These definitions are provided to assist persons in self-exploration and also to assist in planning continuing/on-going education. It is the goal of the Board of Ordained Ministry Leadership Development team that every continuing education event address one or more of the seventeen dimensions listed.


(Matthew 6:33a)

"But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness"

A. Formative Spirituality
Practices a passionate, contagious spiritual discipline necessary to sustain an appropriate spirituality for ministry; keeps his/her existential love for, and awareness of God alive and vital by regular examination of his/her prayer life, personal use of the Bible and other 
factors affecting personal spirituality.

B. Work-Life Balance (Self-Care)
Identifies and selects the priorities that are appropriate to the church’s ministry objectives and focusing energy and attention on those objectives; includes the ability to give attention to a wholeness of health, caring for the body and mind, as well as the spirit and family life.

C. Lifetime Learning
Embraces the belief that learning never ends and demonstrates a willingness to take the initiative to find and engage in learning opportunities which improve one’s knowledge and skill; this trait leverages the development of ministry and interpersonal skills.

D. Leadership Development (Gift Oriented Ministry)
Gives witness to an intimate relationship with God which results in Christ-like character and a clear sense of God’s call to build a Christ-like world. As spiritual maturity increases, effective pastors and leaders multiply, guide, empower and equip disciples to realize their full potential and work together to accomplish God’s vision.


(2 Timothy 2:15)

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth."

E. Preaching
Faithfully communicates the Christian faith by proclaiming sermons that are biblically based and theologically sound, aimed toward providing practical insights for Christian living whether for spiritual nurture, prophetic challenge or care and comfort.

F. Inspiring Worship
Is able to plan and implement inspiring, authentic worship as a personal and corporate encounter with the living God, integrating faith, the church’s traditions, the scriptures and the sacraments.

G. Sacraments
Assists the congregation in its thinking and appreciation of the ultimate meaning of Baptism and Holy Communion through the proper and reverent administration of the sacraments and teaching biblical, Christian and denominational standards.

H. Teaching
Cares about Christian education and is willing and able to work with others to plan, implement, and manage Christian education programs; participates in Sunday School and other educational programs.


(Ephesians 4:12)

"To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ"

I. Small Groups
Values and knows how to support and direct others in their quest for authentic spiritual experience and maturity while raising leaders to sustain the growth of the church according to their God-given gifts.

J. Leading Change
Is competent in influencing others to volunteer their separate energies and resources to a common pursuit, communicating vision in a clear and convincing manner; helps people move from current realities into new visions for church growth and health.

K. Congregational Care
Demonstrates a ministry style that is supportive and healing, revealing that loving relationships are the heart of a healthy, growing church; provides intentional structures that are pastoral in nature, and is an effective pastoral visitor.

L. Staff Management
Is competent in planning, implementation, administration and evaluation of resources, programs and personnel (paid or volunteer); highly values the capabilities of each person to engage in meaningful ministry and supports them in their tasks.


(I Peter 5:2a)

"To tend the flock of God that is in your charge"

M. Membership Growth
Intentionally cultivates relationships with pre-Christian people and other seekers so they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who are actively participating within the life of the church and community; sees that others in the church are equipped to cultivate similar relationships in their life.

N. Social Witness
Values and knows how to support and organize others in efforts toward shaping local and national policies and practices dealing with matters of human rights and justice.

O. Connectional Leadership 
Recognizes that being part of the Body of Christ makes us connected to other United Methodists and other Christian denominations; gladly shares in expanding God’s mission throughout the world through apportioned giving and participating in shared ministries.

P. Problem Solving (Situational Leadership)
Demonstrates skill in identifying, analyzing and solving problems that arise in the church based on wisdom and reflective experience; presents a "persona" that inspires trust, enabling him/her to offer sound advice and appropriate challenge or support.

Q. Organizational Structure (Strategic Leadership)
Is able to develop functional structures and provide strategic leadership toward organizational structures and systems; is a person of vision, capable of setting realistic goals, offering creative planning and managing change within existing structures and systems.