Healthy Conference Initiative

The Healthy Conference Initiative Team was formed in 2015. The team grew out of the work of the Conference’s Strategic Priorities’ Design Task Force. Soon after its formation, Spiritual Leadership Incorporated was hired as adaptive process coaches.  The assignment was to remake the Iowa Conference into change agents that inspire and support the next generation of Iowa United Methodists. The Healthy Conference Initiative Team was later renamed the Bishop's Operational Team.

The Bishop's Operational Team's work is to create a healthy conference by focusing on three key components. 

  • Develop spiritual leaders who model a community that loves, learns and leads (L3) together.
  • Create environments that foster transformation.
  • Establish processes that bear fruit. 

Through the coaching, the team discovered that issues are best solved by those encountering the problem not necessarily by experts or those in authority.  The Bishop's Operational Team created break-off focus groups to deal specific aspects of the adaptive challenges faced by the Conference.


The Mission, Vision and The Wildly Important Goal were developed. 

  • Mission of the Iowa Annual Conference: Inspire, equip and connect communities of faith to cultivate world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • The Vision of the Iowa Annual Conference: God’s hope for the world made real through faithful leaders, fruitful communities, and fire-filled people.  
  • The Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of the Iowa Annual Conference: All United Methodist churches in Iowa will have a process of intentionally forming disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by the year 2020.   

The hope is for all churches in the Conference to have a Healthy Conference process in place by 2020.  The teams are filled with hope for the future of the Iowa Annual Conference.  All the work is directed toward the call to love, learn and lead the way forward through the adaptive issues and opportunities before the Conference.  

“May God bless us as we continue to align ourselves with God’s vision, mission, and Strategic Priorities and may we be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ for the sake of God’s mission in the world.” —Rev. Barrie Tritle