Wow! That scripture has always blown me away. I normally think, “Really?! I’m going to do greater things than Jesus?” In my mind, I say, “Come on now, is Jesus using hyperbole? Does he really mean it? Does Jesus mean collectively that the church of Jesus Christ over the next centuries would dare great things on some level? What’s up with Jesus thinking we can do greater things than Him?”
This time when I read the passages, a different phrase struck me; “the person who trusts me.” Perhaps the catch is when a person trusts or if a person will trust? How much do I trust Jesus to come through? Or do I rely more on my own devices to achieve my goals? Trust is hard to come by in our culture, in our church and in our relationships with each other. Trust is a key word in the Bible. Jesus goes on to eventually say, “you can count on me because I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
Trust! Trust! Perhaps the lack of trust is what gets in our way of doing greater things. It stops us from reaching our full potential. Either way, it’s amazing to me that Jesus had such confidence in us that He believed we could do greater things. We are going to focus on how to be more missional as a church and as an individual. An amazing assurance of God’s belief in Christ-followers.
This year our Annual Conference theme is “Greater Things,” based on Len Wilson’s new book, Greater Things: The Work of the New Creation. Len Wilson is coming to Annual Conference to teach on the topic of God-empowerment rather than self-empowerment. Hopefully, this helps us grasp the concept of participation in God’s new creation. Len writes, “We are priests and all equipped to do greater things, that is, the things of God.” (page 81, Greater Things)
I’m excited about coming together at Annual Conference. It’s been two years since we were all able to gather. I’m excited about our learning day and catching the spirit of God’s new movement of work. We are going to focus on how to be more missional as a church and as individuals. I believe we are in a great transition that will lead us to God’s new creation and new work through God’s church. I hope to see you at our conference session and worship services.
I pray God fills our spirits and re-empowers us all in this new creation. May God’s spirit invite us back into the joy of ministry and lead us into the work of ministry. Remember that even our work can be fun and fulfilling. Our work is a gift from God. Let us remember that God’s spirit does not reside in a building or in a theological position; rather, God’s spirit resides in us.
In the upper room on the day of Pentecost, God breathed the breath of God upon God’s people; again! God is doing a new thing in the Kingdom and is breaking into our reality.
Come, receive the Holy Spirit of Christ and His people. When we trust in God, we can do greater things.
Bishop Bob Farr, Missouri Conference
of The United Methodist Church