OUR CONNECTION MATTERS
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Did you know that research estimates the average adult makes 35,000 choices each day? When we are faced with two choices in which one is good and the other bad, the decision can be easy or clear cut. But it’s never easy to decide between things that are all good choices; to discern what is good, what is better, and then to choose the “best yes.”
As I reflect on my ministry journey and the doors God has opened for me to serve, I have seen him directing my steps - many times when I had no plan as Proverbs 16:9 describes - and can think of several “best yes-es:”
- Saying yes to Rev. Sam Rogers to be the Pastoral Assistant for Evangelism at Tifton FUMC in 2000 (a.k.a. “The Welcome Wagon”), which led to
- Saying yes to Rev. Jim McIlrath to build a children’s ministry program at Douglas FUMC after moving there in 2002, which led to
- Saying yes to Suzanne Akins to emcee a Conference Confirmation Retreat, which led to
- Saying yes to Rev. Adam Ricker when asked to join the Conference Nurture Team in 2005 and be involved in the Conference’s programming and resourcing, which led to
- Saying yes in 2012 to Dr. Brad Brady when asked to join the Connectional Ministries staff as an Associate Director, which led to
- Saying yes to serve as a Director for the General Board of Global Ministries in 2012 and the way in which the global denomination and the impact of The UMC connection became even more real to me, which led to
- Saying yes in 2020 to Bishop Bryan when asked to serve as the Director of Connectional Ministries and being the first lay person to fill this role.
All of these “yes-es” led me to the many invitations to be in the local churches of all shapes and sizes here in South Georgia and to so many amazing friendships built throughout the years with clergy and laity in South Georgia and beyond.
This week, I shared with our conference leadership that I will be transitioning out of my role as Director of Connectional Ministries to stay home and keep our first grandson, Mac, as our daughter returns to teaching. This decision between two incredible choices - to continue to serve in a ministry role I love or stay home to be a full-time “Sunny” - came about rather quickly and was packed with prayer, discernment, excitement and sacrifice, but is one my husband, Griff, and I strongly feel at this time to be our “best yes.” What a gift this next chapter will be for our family!
However, in the midst of the excitement comes mixed emotions. I will miss being a part of such an awesome conference staff that serves with passion, excellence, and love for Jesus as well as a love for our churches, clergy, and laity. It has been an honor and joy to serve our Annual Conference and to have been given so many opportunities over the past nine years. Thank you, South Georgia, for proving to me over and over again that “Our Connection Matters!”
Allison Lindsey is the director of Connectional Ministries. She has a passion for the local church and its people. Contact her at email@example.com.