|Taken from planumc.org|
We also brought to an end "guaranteed appointments", a term that doesn't actually exist in the Book of Discipline. As you may know, elders in the church are promised an appointment at a local church as long as they are faithful to the the Book of Discipline. Currently, there is no streamlined way to exit ineffective elders in the church. Annual conferences already can get rid of elders who are doing active damage to the church. However, the gist of this legislation helps deal with the pastors who are consistently doing harm to more than one appointment (I read in one place that the definition of "ineffective" is having three consecutive churches ask for their pastor to be removed). In many places, ineffective pastors are placed again and again because they haven't done anything disastrous but they have hurt numerous churches. We have a regular practice of keeping damaging pastors in the system, rather than gracefully moving them out. This legislation was amended to add great safeguards in place - the bishop or district would NOT act alone but with a group of people who would work with people around this issue. Here is a wonderful article about what was done.