Requirements for participation in the Provisional Membership Program are the same as in the first year. (Residents must be under full time appointment or ¾ time missional appointment. Residents must have completed the Conference Sexual Ethics Training within the last quadrenium.)


Covenant Group

  1. There will be a minimum of eight (8) Covenant Group sessions that will last two (2) hours each. Residents are expected to participate in at least six (6) of these meetings.
  2. The Covenant Group Facilitator is Pat Beghtel Mahle.
  3. The Covenant Group will meet monthly.
  4. The Covenant Group will carry out the following tasks:
    1. Develop a community of faith through regular prayer, Bible study, and other spiritual disciplines during group meetings.
    2. Involve participants in a process of support, encouragement, and mutual accountability.
    3. Discuss Disciplinary Questions and Responses required for deacon/elder interviews with the Committee on Preparation and Qualifications.
    4. Explore ways for teaching the congregation about the meaning of the United Methodist Church’s mission statement, “The mission of the United Methodist
    5. Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
    6. Engage in biblical and theological reflection about the Resident’s role as a spiritual and visionary leader within the congregation.
    7. Reflect biblically and theologically on how one’s context impacts ministry in that location.
    8. Study and experience the meaning of membership in the order of deacons or elders, and the nature of the relationship between the two.
    9. Address other issues that the group wishes to explore.
  5. Confidentiality is an important component of the Covenant Group. Participants are expected to respect the privileged nature of what happens within the group. The Covenant Group Facilitator will not be asked to provide information concerning the content of what transpires within the meetings.It is assumed that the Covenant Group and Covenant Group Facilitator will be able to successfully address any significant issues of the concern involving Residents. If, however, an issue remains unresolved, the Covenant Group Facilitator will work with the chair of the Committee on Provisional Membership to determine how best to address the situation.
  6. The Covenant Group Facilitator will provide written feedback to the Membership Committee indicating whether Residents have participated faithfully and fully in the Covenant Group.


Mentor Pastor

  1. The Committee on Provisional Membership is responsible for assigning Mentor Pastors to Residents. If the Resident believes there is an impediment in the relationship with the Mentor Pastor who is assigned, he or she can ask the committee to consider assigning another Mentor Pastor.
  2. Training for new Mentor Pastors will be offered.
  3. Residents will have a minimum of six (6) meetings with Mentor Pastors. During 3 of those meetings they will discuss the following issues:
    1. Resident’s leadership style
    2. Equipping of laity to carry out their ministry.
    3. Stewardship
  4. A mutually trusting and supportive relationship is a necessary ingredient in the mentoring relationship. Both the Resident and the Mentor Pastor are expected to respect what takes place within the relationship. It is assumed that the Mentor Pastor and Resident will be able to successfully address any significant issues of concern involving the Resident. If an issue remains unresolved, the Mentor Pastor or the Resident will contact the Covenant Group Facilitator (Pat Beghtel Mahle) or the chair of Committee on Provisional Membership to determine how best to address the situation.
  5. Mentor Pastors will not be asked to provide assessments or evaluations of the Residents. They will, however, be asked how many times you have met and provide descriptions of the topics they covered with the Provisional Residents. This material will be shared with the Committee on Preparation and Qualifications for their use.
  6. Sermon or Significant Ministry Function
  7. Residents seeking ordination as elders will videotape one (1) sermon for review with their Mentor Pastor and Ministry committee. Residents seeking ordination as deacons will videotape one (1) significant ministry function (e.g. teacher’s training, preaching, youth ministry event, teaching, music presentation, etc.) for review with the Mentor Pastor and the Lay Ministry Committee. 


Lay Ministry Committee

  1. Residents will have a minimum of six (6) meetings with their Ministry Committee, with the Mentor Pastor present for the preaching or significant ministry review.
  2. Training for new committee chairs and members.
  3. The meeting with the Ministry Committee will reflect on the Resident’s growth in the following areas:
    1. Call to ministry including integrity in the Resident’s lifestyle because of the call.
    2. Personal spiritual development and inspiring others to grow in relationship with God.
    3. Passionate preaching and teaching that challenges people to grow in discipleship and reach out to others.
    4. Proficiency in major responsibility of ministry (deacons).
    5. Pastoral Care including listening, responding to needs and leading people and the congregation through change, challenges and conflict.
    6. Vision and goal setting and communication.
    7. Identifying the ministry setting’s mission field and communicating how to serve it outreach and discipleship.
    8. Church Management including time management, communication, finances, supervising personnel (lay and staff), and other church operations.
    9. Working in partnership with others (staff and the congregation) to accomplish the same mission and goals.
    10. Developing, coaching and mentoring leaders to take more ownership in the church’s mission and lead with unique skills and gifts.
    11. A willingness to learn and tend to ongoing personal, professional, emotional and spiritual growth.
  4. Lay Ministry Committee Chairs will be asked to provide the Membership Provisional Committee a written assessment of the Resident’s progress relative to these issues. This information will be shared with the Committee of Preparation and Qualifications.


Annual Reports

  1. The Residents will submit a copy of their paper prepared for the on-site visit with Preparations and Qualifications that relates to strengths and growing edges and also the challenges of their current appointment to Holly Gaskill Bandel. This paper will be forwarded to the chair of the Membership Committee to be used in the final evaluation of the resident by the Membership Committee.
  2. Resident, Mentor Pastor, Lay Ministry Committee Chair and the Covenant Group Facilitator will fill out and turn in forms provided by the Committee on Provisional Membership to the Chairperson of the Membership Committee. In addition, the Resident will fill out and turn in a Membership Program evaluation from provided by the committee to the Chair Person of the Membership Committee. 


Annual Evaluation

The Committee on Provisional Membership will annually determine whether Residents have successfully completed the requirements of that particular year. If the requirements have not been adequately fulfilled, the Resident will repeat that year of the process. The length of the Membership Program will consequently be extended for an additional year to account for this remediation.


Program Completion

  1. For successful completion of Membership the resident must participate in the process in consecutive years and fulfill all the requirements.
  2. The Committee on Provisional Membership will meet to determine whether those applying for ordination and full membership have successfully completed Membership. Successful completion of Membership is necessary to move forward into ordination and full membership.
  3. If the Committee concludes that a Resident has not successfully completed the Membership program, it will meet with the Resident as quickly as possibly to review and assess the situation. Depending on the results of that consultation the Membership Committee may require the resident to continue in the program,
  4. The Committee on Provisional Membership will inform the Committee on Preparation and Qualifications which Residents have successfully completed the Membership program and which will be asked to continue in the program.

Contact Information

Chair of Committee on Provisional Membership
Church: 214-544-8050 ext. 101

Covenant Group Facilitator
Church: 972-423-4506