As we start our Charge Conferences for this year, it is always helpful to focus on the theme. This year, it is “Moving Forward in God’s Mission.” It’s not (moving forward in) the United Methodist mission, nor the Virginia Conference mission, not even the Alexandria District mission, and not even my local church’s mission … it’s God’s Mission! During our time of Holy Conferencing, we’ll unpack three scripture references, Matthew 28:16-20, and Revelation 7:9-17 and 22:1-7; and then we’ll examine the following three questions … as they relate to your local church setting:
In the mission of God, where do we find ourselves?
How are we involved in the advancement of God’s mission?
Are there next steps for us here?
Having conversation around those three questions, and knowing about what’s been happening in our own congregation; it’s pretty easy to focus on the activities, programs, and ministries of our churches. But what about the people? Are we focused too much on the programs? Have we forgotten about the power of relationships? I just read this last week in the ‘Lead Like Jesus’ devotional series, and I think it bears repeating as we focus on “Moving Forward.”
Paul’s concern for Timothy, his protégé and partner in ministry, encompassed all areas of Timothy’s life. Paul knew Timothy’s family. He advised Timothy on ministry matters and doctrine. He counseled him regarding how to relate to others most effectively and with integrity. Paul’s concern for Timothy included concern for his health as well. Leading like Jesus means that we treat others like human beings, not projects or tools. How well do you know the people with whom you work? How concerned are you for their welfare—physical, professional, personal, relational, mental, and spiritual?
So, how are you moving forward in God’s Mission?
John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader