Charge Conference FAQs
1. What happened to Gateway and where can I find the charge conference forms?
We are no longer using Gateway. (Keep the cheering to a minimum!) As with last year, the charge conference forms are no longer located in our database. To access the forms, you can go to the Charge Conference & Evaluations page and download all of the forms there. You will then upload all of the completed forms into a charge conference portal. More information about the portal can be found on our website.
2. What about evaluations, when are they due?
The evaluation forms are due on December 1. Evaluation forms are now live at the same time as charge conference forms. (We heard you!) This gives SPRC committees the opportunity to do the compensation discussion at the same time as the pastoral evaluation. See the Evaluation Forms page.
3. I downloaded a report but I can’t make any changes, what’s up?
All of the forms have protection from Microsoft. When you download, be sure click “Enable Editing” at the top of the page to be able to type, save, etc. in the document.
4. Why do I have to submit my forms 10 days in advance?
We ask for forms to be submitted ahead of time so the district administrator and district superintendent can review the forms for any glaring mistakes, or as a heads-up on something that may need to be discussed at the charge conference that we weren’t initially aware of and can build time into the agenda.
5. I am trying to scan and upload my files but it tells me there isn’t enough space. What should I do?
We recommend that you scan your document at a very low resolution – 200 dpi. Anything larger than that may cause you issues when you are uploading additional documents. In addition, we recommend that you scan in black and white or grayscale, not color. This does not mean you cannot scan in color, but we do make this recommendation because each church is allotted a limited amount of space in their portal.
6. What happens to my files when I upload them to the portal and click submit?
It is the magic of technology. Once you click submit, your district administrator can go into the backend of the portal and view, download or print anything you have submitted. It is a great tool and saves a lot on printing costs for the local church.
7. I am stuck with a form and would like to see what I put on last year’s form. Who do I ask for last year’s form?
While charge conference is always in the back of our minds, we can understand that you probably don’t think about it half as often as we do. Because of that, we are always here to help. Please feel free to contact your district administrator and request that they send you last year’s file.
8. Who should submit the reports into the portal?
We strongly recommend that one person be in charge of uploading the documents in the portal and pressing the magic submit button. This will help avoid confusion by having multiple users in the portal. We suggest that the church administrator or some other person contact the leadership with the reports to be filled out, then have the reports emailed back to that person once they are complete.
9. If my church is part of a multi-point charge or a cooperative parish, should we submit them together under the same portal or should we use our own portal?
We recommend that each church submit to their own portal. However, when submitting a shared form like the clergy compensation report, it is fine if only one church submits the form. We know who you are and it is easy for us to know which churches are in a parish or charge together.
10. I don’t have a scanner and cannot upload any signed documents. Is that a problem?
Not at all. If you don’t have a scanner, just upload the unsigned document to the portal and bring the signed copy to charge conference. If you do have a scanner, feel free to sign and scan and then you do not have to bring a copy to charge conference. Please review the charge conference checklist for those forms that must be printed out for charge conference.
11. Why can’t I fill out the single clergy compensation report even though our church is part of a multi-church charge?
After years of trial and error, we determined that it is easier for everyone (especially us) if churches in a multi-church charge fill out the multi-church charge compensation report. This report allows for each church to input all of their data and have it show up next to the other churches data. This is a great way for your SPRC chairs to make friends with their counterparts at the other churches in the charge. Please note that each church should know what the other church is paying in terms of clergy compensation. It should not be a secret.
12. On the clergy compensation report, what is ‘other support’ in the cash salary portion?
Other support is support received from the Conference or the District to help pay the pastor’s salary. It is helpful to include this information so it is clear where the salary is coming from. In addition, please note that you do not get apportioned on the funds received from the Conference or District. So when you are filling out your statistical report, please only include the salary that the church only is paying.
13. How do I access the portal once I have initially signed in?
There really isn’t a sign-in for the portal. You will click on the link that takes you to the portal, begin filling out the information and then select In progress to save; Completed to submit; or Correction/Replacement to submit a correction. Once you press the submit button, you will receive an email with the link to your portal which will contain all of the forms/if any that you have saved or submitted. You will need this link to access the portal in the future.
14. Do I have to submit documents that are not applicable to our church?
No. In years past you may have but you no longer have to do that. Just submit those documents that are applicable to your church.
15. Will evaluation documents be reviewed at charge conference?
No. Evaluation documents will not be reviewed at your Charge Conference. However, we have made the Evaluation documents available for you to begin working on concurrently with the Charge Conference documents. All Evaluation documents are due into the Evaluation Document Portal by December 1.
16. I downloaded the report on my computer but cannot find it. Where did it go?
Most web browsers will automatically download documents into a My Documents folder directly on your computer. You should check that folder. We recommend that you create a folder on your desktop called Charge Conference 2016 and save all reports to that folder.
17. Can we have two people working in the document portal at the same time?
You can, but we highly recommend that you do not. There is a chance that one person can override the other person’s work if you are both working in the portal at the same time. We recommend that one person in the church be in charge of the Charge Conference Portal and only they have access to upload documents into the portal.
18. Are we required to give the pastor a raise each year?
That depends. If your pastor is in the first 15 years of ministry there are Minimum Compensation Requirements that must be met for each year of service. If they are in ministry longer than 15 years, the answer is, it depends. The church needs to pray about and also realistically decide what they can afford. There is not a mandatory percentage, however; just as you appreciate getting a raise for doing good work, so do clergy.