As I sit down to write this article, I am in front of a window and can see the radiant sunshine despite a chilly day. The sunshine looks inviting and feels good after so many days of cloudy, dreary weather. In conversations with others, I know many of us are tired of the cloudy, dreary weather and we are ready for spring and all that it brings.
With spring, we have sunshine and rain which gives way to green grass, buds on trees, flowers blooming and more time spent outside. When I think about the work before the general church, it seems to match our winter weather and leaves many of us wanting to move past and beyond this season and enter a new season in the life of the church. I look forward to a season with less conflict and divisiveness where our anxiety gives way to peace.
I look forward to a season with less labeling where everyone is able to see one another as a child of God and not as an issue. I look forward to a season with less distractions where we can be wholeheartedly focused on growing in our relationships with Christ and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others so they might enter into a relationship with our Creator.
It is in this season we must remain focused on being in ministry with others so that the mission can be fulfilled. The conference priorities lead us into ministry with one another and keep us focused on the mission.Pathway Out of Poverty
All churches have been invited to be a part of Open Hearts, Open Books as part of this priority. This team has invited all of us to grow and deepen our existing relationships with schools through intentional giving of books with a goal of connecting 100,000 children with 100,000 books in our communities across the conference. You can find ideas about partnering and building relationships with schools and how to get involved with Open Hearts, Open Books by visiting the action plan webpage on the conference website.
New Places for New People
In our districts across the conference, pastors and laity have had the opportunity to attend a workshop about inviting others to a new place and the opportunity to attend a Hero Maker study to increase knowledge and support of church wide practices in growing and multiplying. The team continues to promote the five types of new places and wants to hear about your new places. Visit the action plan webpage to record a new place for new people.
New Missional Leaders
New Missional Leaders are vital to the other priorities as we build school-church partnerships and lead new places. Part of serving as a missional leader is mentoring another person. This team has created some new resources to support discipleship coaching and mentoring relationships. These tools will be helpful as you consider your role as leader and how you can invite and engage someone else in leadership. You can find these new resources along with tools like 5 Cups of Coffee and the Called training series on the action plan webpage.
Join me in this season of being in ministry with one another. Be the sunshine that can light the path for someone to find a relationship with Christ. Be willing to plant the seeds to help a child read. Be willing to nurture someone as they grow in leadership. Allow the love of Jesus Christ to bloom all around us.
Learn more about the Action Plan here.