Charge Conferences

Together. We. Are. More.

Prepare for Success with These Comprehensive Instructions

Charge conference reports must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date. Signature pages need to be submitted no later than three days prior to the charge conference date. If a pastor misses these deadlines the charge conference may need to be rescheduled. 

Read this GUIDE with instructions and answers to FAQs. 

Please allow plenty of time to submit your reports prior to the deadline in case there are questions or issues that cause the report to be sent back without approval.

Contact Robin or Julie with any questions you may have. 

What Is Charge Conference? Who Should Attend?

The charge conference is the basic governing body of each United Methodist local church and is composed of all members of the church council. All members of the charge conference must be members of the local church. The charge conference must meet at least once per year. The charge conference directs the work of the church and gives general oversight to the church council, reviews and evaluates the mission and ministry of the church, sets salaries for the pastor and staff, elects the members of the church council, and recommends candidates for ordained ministry. Each charge is encouraged to be inclusive in the make-up of the council so that all segments of the congregation are represented.

The primary responsibilities of the charge conference in the annual meeting shall be to review and evaluate the total mission and ministry of the church (¶¶ 120-124), receive reports, and adopt objectives and goals recommended by the church council that are in keeping with the objectives of The United Methodist Church.

The pastor shall be the administrative officer, and as such shall be an ex-officio member of all conferences, boards, councils, commissions, committees, and task forces, unless restricted by the Discipline. As such, if no laity or retired clergy are present to vote and approve reports, it is NOT a charge conference.

To read more from The Book of Discipline: The Charge Conference, click here.

A Message from Your Superintendent

Jim Bushfield

Our theme this year: Together We Are More! 

extends the annual conference premise. We will address what it means to be a missional church so pastors, you will want to invite as many from your church as are able to attend. Between three and ten churches will meet together, based primarily on geography; some special circumstances determine single and other groupings.

Charge Conferences are the pastor's opportunity to fulfill the responsibilities as the chief administrator of the church. It is also a time for leaders and members of the church to gather together for the annual business meeting, review the reports and connect what's happening in the local church compared to the rest of the district. 

If your church has a Single Board structure, or if your church is incorporated, you must have a church-wide meeting prior to your charge conference  

to verify and recommend reports and action to the charge conference. 

For incorporated churches, give proper notice (minimum of 10 days).  

Churches with traditional board structures are encouraged to also have a meeting of all leadership and invite members to attend for the same reasons.  

Invite all members to attend so that everyone has an opportunity to know what the church has accomplished in the past year and who the leaders will be in the coming year. 

Invite all church members, in addition to your leadership, to attend this year's charge conference.


Each church's clergy MUST attend and the bishop and cabinet have determined that at least four laypersons  plus the pastor need to be present to be a legitimate charge conference.

To access the charge conference reports, go to

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Still have questions? Contact us at 317-924-4140 or email Julie or Robin.

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