District Administrative and Support Staff Alignment

Bishop Trimble, in partnership with Ian Hall, Director of Administration and Financial Services, and the full membership of the Extended Cabinet formally announced a shift in the staffing alignment of district administrative personnel of the Indiana Conference effective January 1, 2018.

Throughout the past seven years, there have been many conversations, studies, and experiments for how the Indiana Conference can better align resources, increase its efficiencies, work toward a more cohesive collaboration between districts and core ministry areas, while also providing more excellent service and resources for the local church. 

This research has included conversations with a variety of leaders, including representatives from the Extended Cabinet and the District Assistants. There is more work to be done. However, this next step will assist in our long-term goals of becoming fully missional as the Indiana Conference.

This shift in human capital management aligns with the intentional work to deepen the understanding and inclusion of each team member employed by, or appointed to, the Indiana Conference; as all are valued and vital. The title shift also is consistent with our common language using the terms Conference Superintendents, Conference Directors, and Conference Assistants (each assigned to a district/ministry area). And promotes a heightened environment and culture committed to collaboration, accountability, and strategic alignment of work throughout the Conference structure.

Through Phase I of the plan, all current District Assistants who serve across the ten districts throughout the Conference will become Conference Assistants assigned to a specific district. As this model comes into fruition, the Conference Assistants will find supervision, connection, support, and staff advocacy from the Conference Center and align into the Office of Administration and Financial Services where Kathy Mitchell, Associate Director of Support Services, will serve as their immediate supervisor for an interim period until July 2018.

Each Conference Assistant will continue to support the work and ministry of the Conference Superintendent and other staff in their assigned district, as well as serve as the central resource to churches, clergy, and laity. 

Through this new connection, the Conference Office of Administration and Financial Services, in partnership with the Extended Cabinet, Core Ministry areas, and Conference Assistants; will continue to study the administrative needs of the districts. This continued review will help the Conference streamline:

  • communications and information sharing,
  • district finances;
  • database administration;
  • Minister Information Sheets (MIs) and Check Day;
  • quality control;
  • clergy moves; and
  • customer service in the hopes to allow staff to do what they are best at in caring for the mission and ministry of the local church, districts, and the Indiana Conference.

In July 2018, Phase II will include the addition of an Associate Director of Administration and Financial Services - District Services to help continue to build out the new workflows for our Conference Assistants serving an assigned district. This new role will look similar to the work of the Associate Director of Administrative Services, where Ruth Ellen Needler serves, in aligning and supervising the work of the Conference Assistants who support our Core Ministry areas as well as fulfill the general support needs of the Conference Center. 

The Associate Director of District Services will then coordinate weekly team meetings for this area, to provide a better connection for remote staff, to spread workload in ways that our remote assistants have often had to manage alone or figure out who can assist them on their own during busier seasons at times of illness or vacations.

Bishop Trimble and the Extended Cabinet celebrate the work and ministry of the Conference Team members and the role they play in caring for the Church. And as the Indiana Conference continues moving into the understanding and living out the practice of being “One” Conference, this plan helps us further realize this vision, better support the health and vitality of our churches, and collectively accomplish our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Should you have any questions, please contact Kathy Mitchell, Associate Director of Support Services at kathy.mitchell@inumc.org, your Superintendent, or Skyler Nimmons, Communications Director at skyler.nimmons@inumc.org.