Lindsey uniquely gifted to serve as Director of Connectional Ministries

8/3/2020

By Kara Witherow, Editor

Click here to watch a brief video interview with Allison Lindsey and Kara Witherow, editor of the South Georgia Advocate

Allison Lindsey loves the local church.

Serving, resourcing, and meeting others’ needs is her passion, which is one reason why she’s uniquely gifted to serve as Director of Connectional Ministries.

The first lay person to serve as director, she steps into the role having served on the Connectional Ministries staff for eight years. Prior to that she chaired the Conference Nurture Team, served on the design team for Confirmation Retreat, and was involved with much of the conference’s retreat ministry’s programming.

“Allison is uniquely equipped to serve in this role at this very important time in the life of our annual conference,” said Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, South Georgia’s episcopal leader. “She is an inspiration to me because she is a ‘maximizer’ – always seeking ways to maximize the ministry of the local church and of the annual conference. Her reputation for excellence is known and appreciated not only in South Georgia, but also around the denomination. Through Allison’s witness and leadership, the ministry of the laity continues to move to center focus in our conference. Her sense of joy in serving Christ through the connectional system is contagious!” 

In her new role as director, Lindsey is reimagining and re-envisioning Connectional Ministries and its role within the Conference. She spent last week in an online training session with new Directors of Connectional Ministries and District Superintendents from around the United States. During the training, which focused on Adaptive Leadership, the group discussed the principles of alignment and attunement. Lindsey said she’s spent considerable time processing those principles and how they apply to Connectional Ministries.

“I cannot think of a better way to live out our faith and our connection than aligned and attuned,” she said. “How can Connectional Ministries be structured to steward the vision of the Annual Conference and the gospel in making disciples in a way that harnesses the power of being aligned and attuned to Christ’s work for us in the world and in relationship with one another?”

Having served as Douglas First United Methodist Church’s director of children’s ministries for 10 years, Lindsey knows well the impact local churches have and the challenges they face. She looks forward to continuing to resource congregations and help clergy and laity live out their calling to make disciples.

“I love that Connectional Ministries has become a ‘go-to,’” she said. “You might not know who to call, but we are the best place to start. If we don’t know the answer or have a resource to share, we can connect you to the resources you need or point you in the right direction. It’s the connection at its best when we are sharing and helping one another in ministry. It is one way I see us very much Alive Together in Christ.”

If you talk to Lindsey long you’ll hear the words “listening and learning” several times. As she begins her role as director of Connectional Ministries, she’s taking time to listen and discern needs within the Conference. She takes seriously her role in learning how she and her team – director of camping and retreats Suzanne Akins and Associate Director for Hispanic Ministries Rev. Daniel Medina – can best serve the Conference.

“My goal right now focuses on creating space to listen,” she said. “A hope that goes along with that goal is that our District Superintendents, our clergy, and our laity will offer me honesty and transparency to share their hopes, dreams, struggles, and needs so I can then begin to see where the opportunities for impact lie and begin to see how we can walk alongside our churches in ministry.”

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused uncertainty and stress, Lindsey has also seen it as a time to reset and refocus.

“Local church leaders are restarting and resetting, and it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate and look at the vision and mission of our church in these changing times.”

And with all the Church will face in the coming year, Lindsey sees Connectional Ministries’ mission and ministry as critical to helping preserve and strengthen the United Methodist connection by using its greatest and – at times - untapped asset and resource – its laity.

“Serving as Director of Connectional Ministries is a huge honor,” Lindsey said. “Our tradition places value on the partnership of clergy and laity and I want to highlight and strengthen this partnership for mission and ministry. It’s my story, and I would love for others to pioneer ways to live out their giftedness and calling and to share and encounter Jesus Christ each and every day in a way that is life-changing for everyone around them.”