Healthy Conference Initiative

The Healthy Conference Initiative (HCI) Team, or Bishop’s Operational Team, was formed in 2015.

Spiritual Leadership Incorporated (SLI) was also hired at the time as adaptive process coaches for the Team and the Bishop’s Appointive Cabinet. The initiative grew out of the work of the Conference’s Strategic Priorities’ Design Task Force.  Both bodies have the task of helping to remake the Iowa Conference into a change agent that inspires and supports the next generation of Iowa United Methodists.

The HCI Team is working towards becoming a Healthy Conference by focusing on three values:  developing spiritual leaders who model a community that loves, learns and leads together; creating environments that foster transformation; and establishing processes that bear fruit. 

Part of the Team’s work has been to create new teams to deal with different aspects of the adaptive challenges faced by the Conference  and how that differs from technical work.  

Technical work refers to tasks where the path to a solution is clear and current knowledge will be sufficient. This work is best done by a task group or team. 

Adaptive work is when problem-solving where current knowledge will not do, and a group will have to learn new ways of moving forward. Problems are also not best solved by experts or those in authority in these cases, but rather by those encountering the problem. This work is best done by an operational team.

Eight District Operational Teams were formed for the process in April 2017 with the core principles, practices, processes, and accountabilities taught by SLI coaches as their foundation.  

These include the Cabinet Operational Team, Communities of Faith Team, Leadership Systems Team, Communication Engagement Team, Culture Transformation Team, and the Faithful Stewardship Team



As a result, statements of Mission and Vision for the Conference have been 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 HCI Team is 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