Over the last three months, I have had the privilege of traveling and preaching nearly every Sunday in one of our churches in the Missouri Conference. It’s been marvelous to see the life, enthusiasm and renewed vitality of our churches. I know people say the church is dead. No doubt, cultural, demographic and sometimes economic trends deal the modern day church a bad hand. But, where a church and pastor take seriously the mission field; work hard and find the moral courage to change some things; try some things; attempt some new things and provide compelling worship; we are seeing fruit! In fact, it amazes me how much new life is occurring in many of our churches. We are alive!
At this year’s annual conference, we are focusing on making disciples in the Wesleyan Way. I’m excited about our speakers, workshops, worship and our connection with each other. I’m hoping we can walk away with new excitement and learning around how to make disciples for Jesus Christ no matter the community in which we live.
This will be my 41st Missouri Annual Conference and yet, it feels like the first because of my new role. I attended my first annual conference as a 16 year-old youth delegate from the Nevada District of the former Missouri West Conference. It seems like another world from today, and in many ways, it is. Yet, I am just as excited today as I was in 1976 about what God is doing through a people called United Methodist in Missouri. I’ve been privileged to see, experience, and live into it!
God’s kingdom is moving right here and now in our midst. People are searching today for a center to their lives. They are searching for spirituality in a variety of ways. My nephew Tyler Farr recently wrote a country song that speaks to it: “I Should Go to Church Sometime.” Friends, people are looking…
As we conference together in 2017, may God’s spirit anoint us with courage to see the “Re-mark-able” ways God is at work already. We just need to catch up with God’s movement. Because God is Alive! We can be Alive!
We are Alive! We are Alive! We are Alive!