Important Characteristics of the Next Bishop

Bishop Transition Team News

Below is a summary of the characteristics of a Bishop, as seen through the eyes of our parishioners, at our Discipleship Gatherings this fall.

  • Self-control
  • Clear boundaries (3)
  • Able to balance work and life
  • Sense of humor (12)
  • Compassionate, fair and firm
  • Pastoral presence especially to the pastors in the synod
  • Not overwhelmed by administrative tasks
  • Theologically astute and articulate – strong preacher
  • Good time management
  • Able to walk along Rostered Leaders & congregations, has a good moral compass; A Pastor’s pastor
  • Pastor’s pastor -counselor, relational (whatever that requires)
  • Sense of the common good
  • Sense of Mission – ELCA, and beyond – the larger church (5)
  • Supportive of congregations to fulfill their mission by giving/providing resources and support
  • Communication skills (5)
  • Good listener (6)
  • Compassionate listener (4)
  • Excitement for the future of the church
  • Willing to confront declining church attendance and membership, being proactive
  • Strategist for creative partnerships in ministry
  • Truth teller (in love)
  • Teacher
  • Unifier (2)
  • Good Administrator (12)
  • Strength in discerning gifts and abilities (talents) of others and placing them in right spots (2)
  • Common sense (2)
  • Keep Sabbath for themselves
  • Embrace the world today from a value, technical and social perspective to evolve the church to meet the needs of the future and grow the church
  • Wisdom
  • Thick skin (3)
  • “Real”
  • Courageous
  • Make decisions for good of church – be willing to sacrifice personal comfort
  • Accountable to the whole church
  • Integrity (2)
  • Consistent/fair
  • High energy level (2)
  • Self Care (2)
  • Mission-minded (3)
  • Knows how to delegate (2)
  • Someone who lets go of/shares power
  • Humble (5), but balanced with assertiveness
  • Someone different/distinct enough from Bishop Wollersheim that they are less prone to comparison and/or will be able to “weather” those comparisons without needing to captivate – able to be themselves
  • Visionary (7)
  • Discerning – Step back – what is best for whole church
  • Approachable/People person (7)
  • Creative
  • Transparent
  • Female ? – different view/perspective
  • Seasoned (experienced) but not too seasoned
  • Helps us think/move outside box
  • Organized (2)
  • Faith-filled
  • Faithful (4)
  • Time Manager
  • Balanced (2)
  • Pastoral
  • Knows how to staff an office well
  • Be willing to travel, likes to travel
  • Reminds each church they are an important part of synod
  • Walks with a church or pastor
  • Public voice – responding sensitively and pastorally to what’s happening in the world and encouraging pastors to be public voices
  • Helping make strong connections between congregations, Synod and ELCA
  • Prayerful  (4) & Open
  • Servant heart (3)
  • Fruit of the Spirit – Galations
  • Loves the Church
  • Has experience as a parish pastor
  • Bishop is part of a team – not in this alone
  • Has the knowledge to pick a good staff
  • Ability to bring adverse population together (2)
  • Developing relationships with all peoples
  • Ability to follow through to discipline and deal with conflict appropriately
  • Good repore with people
  • A person of trust and willing to partner and foster loyalty
  • Keep focused on the “right thing” without ego
  • Being aware of their weakness and ability to pick staff to balance them
  • Self-aware
  • Spiritually grounded
  • Theologically sound
  • Strong theologian who can articulate well (2)
  • Empowering and equipping leaders
  • Leadership skills
  • Someone who’s been in the trenches with (recent) parish experience
  • Able to appeal to different demographics especially ages (young people)
  • Jesus with a tattoo?
  • Biblical knowledge
  • Strong, yet adaptable
  • A voice to keep us grounded and encouraged
  • Able to help us feel good about being Lutherans
  • Good at lifting others up
  • Being a pastor to pastors
  • Team builder & then work with the team
  • When a bishop retires, those around have the qualities to become bishop
  • Express thoughts and opinions well
  • Ability to laugh at self
  • Strong speaking skills
  • They need to think of the church not their professional advancement
  • They must keep us united even though the boat is rocking or while challenging us
  • Love of the church
  • Willing to engage in relationships
  • Authentic
  • Works well with others
  • Relational skills
  • Strong witness to the gospel
  • Willing to be molded
  • Creative
  • Energetic
  • Family supported
  • A speaker with spiritual insight
  • Genuine
  • Balanced plus humility
  • Speaking skills
  • Willingness to communicate with all
  • Speak directly to address churchwide; pastor shortage, loss of worshipping number
  • Trustworthy
  • Gets to the point/clarity/ cuts through the BS
  • Secure enough to rely on others spiritual gifts
  • Work ecumenically
  • Ability to lead spiritually
  • Able to give pastoral care
  • Able to delegate and trust in leaders picked to do the work
  • Relate to others well;
  • Equitable relationships throughout the church
  • Natural curiosity – by reaching out and learning and growing
  • Spouse in agreement with this kind of work
  • Lead by example so pastors follow; accountability
  • Honest and truthful; integrity
  • Discreet; social awareness. Know your audience
  • Social issues in the world
  • Mediator; find others to support you
  • Non-judgmental
  • LGBTQ & special needs and all are included (male and female) for any service
  • Look at tough issues and see how God is involved
  • Be an advocate for the synod
  • Avoid politics of the church
  • Good effective leader
  • Familiar with parliamentary procedures
  • Delegator
  • Devoted to God and daily devotions
  • Humanitarian qualities
  • Relate well to pastors and congregations
  • Deliver good sermons
  • Visible in church community – know who you are
  • Innovative
  • Skills to work with church to address current issues facing the church
  • Grounded in scripture and prayer
  • Know what they are talking about
  • Be excited
  • Be wise
  • Care about young and old people
  • Be active in the community
  • Be nice
  • Show up to church
  • Be able to cast a compelling gospel – centered vision
  • Be good at building relationship
  • Have social skills
  • Have humility
  • Be kind
  • Be honest
  • They should make room in our church for weird people
  • They should follow Jesus
  • Sense of pastor to the pastors/pastoral
  • Variety of experience in ministries
  • Finding God’s hope/facing issues
  • Sense of joy
  • Preaching
  • Interactions with other bishops? How do they represent us?
  • Ability to choose staff they can trust
  • Being a teacher
  • Selfless
  • Administrator – leadership
  • Grounded  humble- scripture – prayer
  • Problem solver – wisdom
  • Focused
  • Understanding of rural ministry and vision for changing landscape in downstate IL – commitment to serve rural IL
  • Open to innovation – new ways to be church
  • Encourage others to try (and fail) (technology, etc.)
  • Diversity – experience with and commitment to male/female, old/young, LGBTQ, persons of color
  • Less focus on CEO – shepherd, compassion, love role
  • Good health
  • Empathy
  • Ability to delegate responsibility
  • Confidence
  • Gospel-based work
  • Enthusiasm
  • Ability to deal with intense situations
  • Joy
  • Organized
  • Swedish
  • Common person
  • Level-headed
  • Handle stress
  • Organizational skills
  • Good physical condition
  • Good speaker
  • Show leadership qualities
  • Good theological grounding
  • Deep respect for the Church
  • Be a people person
  • Must like potlucks
  • Empathy
  • Joy
  • Confidence
  • Open to learning
  • Recognize and use gifts of others
  • People person/good inter-personal skills
  • Faithful
  • Good care of self
  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Approachability
  • Intellect
  • Love God, love the church and love the people
  • Good communicator
  • Good sense of boundaries
  • Good devotional life
  • Teacher
  • Sense of church history
  • Ambassador
  • Courageous
  • Organized
  • Honest/noble
  • Empowering
  • Discerning
  • Trust
  • Spirit filled
  • Likes to travel (a lot)
  • Heart for mission
  • Community-minded
  • Evangelical
  • Goals and visions
  • Communicate to the ages; youth and young families
  • A heart for the church
  • A doer and not passive
  • A people person; approachable
  • Extraordinary communication skills
  • Patience, tolerance
  • Someone who thinks before they speak
  • Someone who brings an “authoritative calming presence”
  • Tolerates meetings and administration
  • Courage – fearless
  • Wisdom
  • Self-differentiating (like a duck)
  • Manages dissent, doesn’t take criticism too personally
  • Patience
  • Spirit-filled
  • Sincere
  • Young enough to be around for a while but old enough to be experienced
  • Comfortable delegating
  • Not afraid of conflict, not afraid to make tough decisions
  • Well rounded professionally (big churches, small churches)
  • Knowledgeable of scripture and church
  • Analytical and creative
  • Loving
  • Edifying
  • Excitement about evangelism and outreach
  • Pastoral care
  • Caring spirit
  • Graciousness
  • Good listener
  • Physically healthy
  • Extroverted/encourager
  • Nurturing and empowering
  • Strong faith
  • Good leader
  • Good speaker
  • Patient
  • Good resolving confrontations
  • Generous
  • Open to criticism and new ideas
  • Honesty
  • Able to talk to people
  • Remembers your name
  • Role as pastor to pastor attitude
  • Specific – some familiarity with rural congregation given the demographics of NIS
  • Cares about rural ministry; who understands rural ministry
  • Sincerity
  • Parish experience
  • Experience with larger church
  • Water to wine…
  • Management ability with communication congruency to synod staff to pastors to congregations
  • Ecumenical vision
  • A visionary for long-range planning in regards to creative ministry leadership (specifically clergy roles and congregations shrinking resources)
  • Strong sense of self-regulation and strong spirit of reconciliation
  • Discernment
  • Easy flow of communication
  • Trustworthy
  • Work with new pastors
  • Open-minded; can be adaptable, willing to try new things
  • Spirit-filled
  • Inspirational
  • Courage
  • High energy
  • Driven; focused on the call