Just last week our district held its Annual District Conference where delegates from every church in our district gathered in Hickory to report of this past year, celebrate the victories and be challenged to be the church this coming conference year. As much as the time together was to be about business the atmosphere was one of worship and giving God the glory. There were moments set aside to pray for one another and pray over pastors. It was truly a spiritual event. We sensed God being with us throughout every session.
Much of the message from General Superintendent Dr. Schmidt and the whole of conference had to do with church multiplication and discipleship and “celebrating every time a disciple makes a disciple and a church multiplies itself until the Wesleyan church has a transforming presence in every zip code.” There are three questions we must ask ourselves as a church: #1 Who is making disciples in our church? #2 How many disciples are multiplying our church? And #3 Where are we a transforming presence by disciples making disciples? Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In our zip code, in the areas that surround our church, our homes, in the places where we work how are we making a difference within the kingdom of God. That would be the question each of us must answer.
I believe my heart was stretched a little this past week thinking where my passion is, where is our church’s passion in reaching out to those who do not attend church and do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. If Jesus were here today where would He go within our community? He would go where the people would be. When Jesus walked the earth during His ministry large crowds often traveled to see Him, watch Him perform miracles, hear Him teach and even heard Him say, Luke 14:26-27, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Hard words for us to hear and yet what Jesus was really saying is that we cannot afford to let anything come between us and Him and the mission of discipleship. When we truly love God with all our heart we will love people and we will live to make disciples – drawing others to Jesus Christ.
That is our mission as believers and as the church that is right where we live. I am excited for what God is doing within our church. I am excited, believing and anticipating the days that are ahead. As we trust in God, as we lean upon Him there are indeed still great days ahead for the church. Are you with me?
In Him, Your Pastor,