So, in a sense, I chose the mission and vision I was doing under appointment more than I chose to serve the whim of a bishop.
My own issues with the UMC’s historic itinerancy system; however, I believe it is for the best and Jack Kale is perhaps one of the best examples of why this system needs to stay in place. The Church is not a cult of personality, nor is it based on the pastor. If the local church has only grown with the pastor, perhaps the quantity is not exactly the quality it should be.
In reading Kale’s interview, he never mentions God except to validate his pastoral calling. He never mentions the leading of the Spirit. And why should he? When has the Spirit of God ever commanded breaking oaths, destroying unity, and creating a cult of personality? The politics of the system is decried. So, instead of working to change it from whatever position he has entrusted to the Bishops, he has divorced himself of the small democracy and instead made himself king.
Jack Kale is the very reason we need the itinerancy system. Rather than change the system as Kale and others recommend, we need to rely upon the Spirit – as we say we do – when casting our fate into the hands of the Bishops who make these decisions.
It would be difficult to state that this is a double standard. Why? Because Hamilton and Slaughter are in different conferences than Kale and others. Thus, they are under a different Bishop.
If we are truly Spirit led, then we must have faith in that process and not go about changing a system that has kept the cult of personality out of the worldwide Methodism (generally) for 200 years.