In my last Newsletter article, entitled “Moving Forward,” I wrote about ‘Moving Forward in God’s Mission’ and how we’ll be addressing that very concept during our individual Charge Conferences.  Well, just last week, Bishop Lewis addressed the Virginia Conference by video chat (kind of like a celebrity or TedTalk!!) and gave us the word ‘Re-Calibrate’ to guide our moving forward in God’s mission.  Specifically, she asked:

Are we truly being welcoming to all?

Are we effectively making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world?

Are we honestly leading the United Methodist Church?

So, here we are, our Charge Conferences have started and the first scriptural reference we address in the ‘bible study’ portion of our Holy Conferencing is Matthew 28:16-20, where Jesus is about to ascend into heaven and gives His disciples their orders to carry out God’s mission … “Go and make disciples …” (The Great Commission).  How do you think they felt?  What was going through their minds?  Their three-year roller coaster ride was about to end … or was it?  Do you think they had to re-calibrate?  Once again, I want to share some wisdom from the ‘Lead Like Jesus’ devotional series.

Jesus repeatedly warned His disciples that hard times awaited them. His coming did not magically right all the wrongs in this broken world. But He does provide a way for us to find hope and direction in navigating the world. He calls us to keep our eyes on Him, to remain in relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit, and to live by His priorities of love, service, and obedience. As we do this, our lives testify to Him, just as the lives of the first disciples did. Let God’s presence transform your perspective and lead you forward.

Responding to our bishop … are you truly being welcoming? … effectively making disciples? … honestly leading the UMC? … or do you require some re-calibrating?  I know I probably do! 


John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader