July 12, 2017

As Roger Ross packs his bags for Missouri this summer, part of it feels pretty natural. His family often came to Table Rock Lake for summer vacations. But now he’s packing more than a suitcase. He’s moving from Springfield, Illinois to Missouri to assume his new role as the Director of Congregational Excellence. 
   
Although the Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church was having their Annual Conference Session at the same time as Missouri, Ross came to the Missouri Conference, were Bishop Farr advised him to stand up so he could be seen, speak up so he could be heard and show up so he could be appreciated. 

Ross has recently had a long and successful tenure as senior pastor of First UMC in Springfield, and he and his wife have recently become empty-nester, with their two children in college. He was praying for direction on the next phase of his ministry. Then he attended a church multiplying conference, and the speaker advised people to stop praying for direction and start praying for courage. Two months later, he accepted the Missouri Conference Director of Congregational Excellence position. 
    
“I only have one life, and I want it to count,” Ross said. “I asked myself, ‘Where can I invest my one and only life to have the greatest impact for the kingdom of God?’”
    
Ross asked those present to consider where their own sweet spot is that their gifts and passion come together. 

For more from Ross, see the story on his workshop on page 47.