I’ve been working on Charge Conference paperwork all morning, and I think I’ve uncovered quite a conspiracy. Every year as charge conferences approach for United Methodist pastors, you begin to hear grumbling and complaining about all the paperwork. I agree – there’s a ton of paperwork to be completed. However…there’s a conspiracy among pastors. A wise group of pastors long ago developed this pile of paperwork for a very good reason. We can use charge conference to excuse ourselves from anything we don’t like to do for at least two months! *Gasp* Everytime I’m too tired, busy, or lazy to do something, it’s because of charge conference. These two magic words exempt you from anything you don’t want to do! “Pastor, can you…” “Oh, I would love to, but you know it’s charge conference season…” The person then nods knowingly and walks away, pleased that his or her hardworking pastor is slaving over ‘the books.’ Amazing. Don’t tell anyone; it’s a secret.