I recently wrote about the Ministry Action Plan we built over the past year and adopted at Annual Conference 2014. It is so very important for us to move this plan from paper to reality that I will write about its various aspects during the next several months. Look for a couple of blog entries a month from me on this topic between now and Annual Conference 2015.
Today, I begin with our vision -- 9 words that describe what we want as the outcome of our ministry as the North Alabama Annual Conference. Spiritual Leaders Empowering Life-Giving Congregations to Transform the World.
Maybe you are a part of a life-giving congregation. This would not surprise me as we have a number of such churches in North Alabama. Or maybe you and your church are on the way to becoming a life-giving congregation. This is very Wesleyan as “being in process” (on the way) is in the DNA of United Methodists.
Note that the vision starts with both lay and clergy spiritual leaders. This is because our vision is so large that it requires all of us working together to accomplish it.
The vision focus is on creating spiritual leaders who develop, create and empower life-giving congregations that transform their members, guests, communities and world. These spiritual leaders can change the world.
Life-giving congregations are healthy, vital and generative. God, the Giver of life, breathes life into such congregations- that in turn breathe life and strength into others.
Life-giving congregations, individuals, families, and communities impact the world. Consider the following question as a way to measure the life-giving capacity of your congregation. “How is our neighborhood a better place because we are here?”
As I move throughout the Conference I have the privilege of seeing churches that are living out our vision. I invite you to share your comments in the section below to celebrate an example of a life-giving congregation of which you are a part.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett