What Moves the Church Forward?
Read Ephesians 1:1-14
The Apostle Paul wrote a powerful letter to the Church in Ephesus. In it, he described many characteristics of the Church’s identity and overall purpose. I believe that embedded in the first verses of this Letter, Paul introduced the driving force that propels the Church to fully realize its identity and fulfill its purpose: God’s Plan of Redemption, which was also the guiding light of Christ’s Mission. Verses 7-10 state that:
“7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
Beloved, our Denomination stands at the threshold of a crucial time that will undoubtedly impact its future and its witness in the world. Next month, the United Methodist Church will hold a Special Called Session of the General Conference to consider different plans with the hope that one of them (or the combination of some) may move our Denomination forward.
As a voting Delegate to this General Conference, I want to let you know that my belief is that only God’s Plan of Redemption - evidenced in the Mission of Christ - is what can move the Church forward. Any other church plan pales in comparison with God’s Plan.
Therefore, in prayerful discernment, we, your Delegation, must approach this great responsibility to vote for plans that have been submitted or plans that can emerge from amendments or other procedural means NEVER losing sight of what moves the church forward: God’s Plan of Redemption.
At the end of the day, every local church and every clergy in our Denomination must embrace God’s Plan for Redemption and fulfill it through our lives and ministries as we advance the Mission of Christ in the world. Only then the United Methodist Church will be able to move forward!
Prayer: (From Ephesians 1:17-19)
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him,
so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
In the Name of the One who will meet us in the future, Amen!