February 26, 2018

Luke 10:1-9
Luke 10:1 (The Message) Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go.
Key Verse: Luke 10:9 (The Message) ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’


This last month I’ve had the privilege to be present at the Church Planter Discernment Summit and WOW. In each place I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of our people, lay and clergy.

At WOW, I saw teens come to Christ or recommit their lives to Christ. I was impressed with our young people at WOW and their commitment to and enthusiasm for the faith. At the Planter’s Summit, I saw clergy and lay persons committing to start new ministry in new places in order to reach new people. At all of these events I saw people, young and old being unleashed for ministry.

I keep hearing people say that the church is dead. Friends, somebody forgot to tell this group of people because they believe otherwise!

I, along with many others, want to see revival in our churches’ and people’s lives; transformed through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I, as your Bishop, want to be a part of a new Wesleyan renewal of God spirit across this state and around the world. It all starts with the individual; people unleashed for ministry in new and exciting ways.

Friends, go start something new! Don’t wait on the permission of the institutional church. Go do something new in your community through your work setting, through your church or small group. Don’t wait on the permission of the institutional church for you personally to do something new.

Our church is at a crossroads. We are in the in-between: In between what was working and not yet knowing what’s going to work. In between how we used to be organized and not yet organized in a new way for future needs of our world.

Here’s what I know: We Methodists have a long history of leading people to Christ and helping them grow grace-filled lives; in word and deed. We must get back to that history but in a new, relatable way for the 21st century. We are grounded in our roots of a Wesleyan theology that strikes a balance between truth and grace; head and heart; personal piety and social holiness.

But like a good, solid tree, rooted in the soil, we can be flexible when the wind blows. If we are too stiff, we will break. We can be strong enough as not to topple over as a storm hits. I love the image of strong, yet flexible, rooted, but adaptable.

We need to be unleashed to do new things while remaining committed to our great Christian teachings. Luke 10:9 says, “God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!” I love that! The Kingdom is knocking; now is the time to try a new thing.