So what does the loss of the guaranteed appointment really mean? Only time will tell. If we really think that eliminating the guaranteed appointment will help local churches, we are deluding ourselves. But it certainly won't help clergy be more prophetic in the pulpit, especially if they disagree with the DS and Bishop, let alone the church laity.
It does look that General Conference did try to keep some protection for clergy. There is a process, but who is really going to want to go to a dying church now and risk being labeled "ineffective"? And who is going to want to go into the hinterlands where we risk being labeled a "failure"? Frankly, if success in ministry looks like some of our leadership, we are in trouble, no matter how well meaning they are.
In our own ministry, we've been lied to and stabbed in the back by the DS (more than one DS). We've had some good bishops, but some ineffective ones as well. I would like to see a plan to deal with ineffective bishops and DSs. Would you?
Yet, the Church belongs to God and we are servants. But not servants only but brothers and sisters of Christ in the eyes of God. Sadly, not in the eyes of each other.
Risky discipleship? Yes. Risky ministry? Always. Stress-free service? Never.