What do circuit stewards do?
Inviting the appropriate ministers, overseeing finance and supporting local churches as they tackle the challenges of being church in the 21st century are top of the agenda for the circuit steward.
However, worshipping God is the central pursuit of the Methodist Church so the starting point for all circuit stewards is their relationship with God and other Christians; meeting together for worship and friendship to sustain their service to the church and people of the Crcuit.
As well as regular practical challenges circuit stewards are also commissioned to take on strategic leadership decisions. Because the role gives a panoramic view of the Circuit, stewards are able to help co-ordinate the development of evangelism and mission within local churches in their area.
Circuit stewards have to strike the right balance between the practical and spiritual responsibilities of their role and, because the role carries increased responsibility, it may be a good idea for potential stewards to scale back other commitments in the local church.
Some of the circuit stewards' duties
- Along with ministers, probationers and other circuit stewards, stewards form a leadership team. This means they take responsibility for the spiritual direction and wellbeing of the churches in their Circuit.
- Uphold and act upon the decisions made by the Circuit Meeting and Conference.
- Invite ministers to serve in the Circuit and give a warm welcome to new ministers and their families when they move to the Circuit.
- Provide pastoral care to circuit staff and their families.
- Meet with presbyters, deacons and probationers as a leadership team at least twice a year, before the Circuit Meeting.
- Attend all the official meetings connected with the Circuit and specially arranged district meetings, like the Synod.
- Collaborate with other circuit stewards as treasurers of the Circuit Fund. Among other things this fund pays the stipends for presbyters, deacons and probationers.
- Look after the houses in which ministers live while they serve in a Circuit.
- Organise Circuit Days, when all churches in the circuit can meet together for worship. A big group of people singing and worshipping together can be inspiring!
- Plan induction courses for new presbyters, deacons and pastoral workers, covering issues such as
- information about the community
- the ethos of the local church
- what resources are available for collaborative ministry between the circuit staff and for ecumenical work
- what resources are available for collaborative work with local community
- holidays, days off and places for retreat
- how pastoral support may be offered in the future