Thursday, March 26, 2009

So where do I go from here?

I have now been back from my trip to Georgia for 7 days. Still filled with lots of excitement and energy from the trip. I have lots of ideas and directions that I would like to take this whole thing. I guess the question becomes, what do I do first.

Well for me at least, I started with myself. This first week was a back to the basics. I got more into the Word than I have been in a long while. I refocused my prayer life as well. So those steps have begun and now it is simply a matter of findin the vision that God has for the church.

I think this weekend, I will look at the binder we received at the Order of the Flame, and look through it. I purposely have not looked at it yet. I simply have relived the sessions in my mind and heart and now will see what looking through the binder will ignite.

The journey continues. Praise be to God.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not the Final Piece

Well I am sitting in the lobby of Epworth by the Sea and I am anxious to go home. However, I have hours before my plane so I have lots of time to think. This week has been incredible, I learned so much and I was reminded of so much more. I met people from all over the connection. Usually when I think about the connection I am thinking the UMC. This week my definition of the connection was extended to include the Free Methodists, AME, AME Zion, CME, Nazarenes, and more.

In my preaching, I use the term "telling the story" a, I mean A LOT! This week I was reminded with concrete examples and tools and training what that really means and how I can accomplish that. I now have a fuller toolbox to go into the world and equip people in my church and go into the community and tell the story of Jesus by sharing my faith story.

We all have a story, we all have a witness. Sometimes, I forget that. so the puzzle is getting more pieces added to it, it is not complete but I can see the picture clearer.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Celebrating Failure

So here we are, about 116 or so from all around North America. The Methodist Connection has gathered here, the interesting thing to me is the actual location.

Yes this is the place where Charles and John Wesley came to America. This is the location where Charles pastored Christ Church as John went to be the secretary for Oglethorpe. this is all true. However, the information that needs to be stated clearly is that John and Charles were not successful here, not at all. In fact, by our standards today, they were miserable failures. So much so that John Wesley, the Icon of Methodism, snuck out under cover of darkness and made it to the ship where he soon sailed back home to England.

Yet, here we are. Talking about the power of the Holy Spirit. We are talking about sharing our faith story. We are talking about taking our Methodist movement back to our roots. Despite the fact that this could be the location of the Wesley's greatest failure, it just feels so right.

See because how we judge failure and success is not the point. The point is this is God's mission and this is God's ministry. The Good News is God's news and it is God's story. We will take these "failures" and "successes" and pray about them and seek out where God will have us go next.
The world needs to hear the story and we are hear this week to see what we can do as our part.

So celebrate the failure and celebrate the success knowing that God is handling it all and in the end we have VICTORY because of Jesus and his atoning sacrifice. Now that is a great story indeed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

That the world would know Jesus

I am in Epworth by the Sea this week at a Conference. The basic theme is simply "That the world would know Jesus".

Simple enough, I know. However, as we all know it is the simple things that often stick. I am feeling something happening down here. I am excited. I see so many possibilities. There are some great people from all over North America here that are part of the Methodist family. It has been a great chance to share and to fellowship. More than anything it has been a time to seek God's will for the ministry I find myself in. So much of what I have believed from my beginning of this journey has been both affirmed and challenged since I have been here.

How will it all play out? I don't know but I am excited to find out!