Throughout this Conference year I have been blogging about various aspects of the North Alabama Ministry Action plan, including vision, mission and values.* Today I arrive at the fifth and last of our stated values: integrity.
It is a high compliment to state about another Christ-follower, “Not only do they talk the talk, they walk the walk.” It is an even greater affirmation to add, “And their heart is in the right place.” This is integrity - an alignment in words, actions and desires.
The Old Testament repeatedly lifts up integrity. For instance Proverbs 10:9 reads, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever follows perverse ways will be found out.” Similarly the psalmist writes, “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.” (Psalm 25:21)
Jesus places a high value on integrity as well. Indeed on numerous occasions throughout the gospels he makes indignant statements about hypocrisy, the antithesis of integrity.
Integrity is a critical virtue that we as spiritual leaders desire to embody. We also want the North Alabama Conference to be defined by integrity.
How does a Conference demonstrate integrity? The answer lies in alignment. Our Conference shows alignment in words, actions and desires by:
In short, for us, integrity means that our words and actions align with the desired outcomes of the Ministry Action Plan which we adopted nearly a year ago.
May your and my words, actions and desires align in our personal lives and in our work together as a Conference. As they do, we will be known as people with integrity.
As always it is a joy to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference
* See the full Ministry Action Plan at www.umcna.org/ministryactionplan