On the heart of your Bishop - September
FROM THE BISHOP
JAMES R. KING, JR.
This article features comments on the following:
- Going deeper
- Power and prayer
Big thanks!!! To you, pastors and congregations, for being faithful stewards as you continue to demonstrate commitment by supporting the apportionments with 100 percent giving. Some congregations have already paid their apportionments in full. How terrific!!!
Nothing new … Over the last several years we have moved from assessing our statutes as a Disciple Making Conference to some strategic adjustments. We have much to celebrate in South Georgia with many congregations being renewed and several new congregations started. Our summer programs with children and youth continue to be a blessing to many. Our Office of Connectional Ministries continues to provide assistance to those who want to learn more so they can be more. Many of our pastors have been learning from both effective congregations within our conference as well as teaching opportunities across the country. Our missional giving and mission teams continue to bless communities across the world. Our DCC – Disciple Covenant Conference – and Bishop’s Hours have focused on the Timeless Values of Faith and the equipping of disciple teams to develop disciple plans for their congregations.
Now after several years of action and reaction to membership decline in our conference and financial adjustments which eventually led to a reduction of districts, it’s time to drill down on what we know works:
- Longer tenure for most of our pastors
- Making sure we go deeper in folding timeless values into disciple plans
- Using our Five Star System as a standard for disciple making for our clergy, laity, and congregations
- Living into a culture of support for one another through a cluster system for clergy, laity and congregations
- Forming CLUs – Christ like Love Units for all believers and all age groups.
- Measuring – we are moving into an intentional season of measuring for results and impact. Look for a dashboard system that will help us measure how well we are doing with the Five Star Focus System.
Remember, The Brightest Star for 2014 -2015 is the Teaching Star
The Appointive Cabinet will join me in studying the book of Mark this year as we focus on knowing Jesus more in order to follow him more as his disciples. Has your congregation, class, CLU, etc. decided on which gospel to study together?
Power and Prayer
Recently Rose and I had to have some transmission work done on our 1998 Jeep. I was reminded that even though the engine was working okay the Jeep would not go in any direction if the transmission was not doing its job. Power – raw power – is energy. It is the ability to get something done. Power in and of itself is not good or bad, but a person can use it for good or evil. Power can be used to build up or tear down, to help or to hinder. I read some time ago that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Power is most felt when it has a mission – a direction. Pharaoh and Hitler had missions to use their power to hold back and hold others down. Abraham and Moses’ missions were to glorify God and set people free. Our vision is to grow a Christ like world and our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. If your mission is rooted in God’s word, you will be headed in the right direction.
Prayer is having a conversation with God. The Bible teaches believers to pray without ceasing. When we are mindful of being in the presence of God, our desires are shaped by the awesome holiness of our spiritual parent and our behavior is bent in the direction of God’s holy will. Prayer helps us to be more faithful, obedient, and committed to do what God reveals for us to do. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in our lives giving us the confidence to use our God-given power to glorify and bring into reality the fruit of the Spirit of God.
If we are constantly in conversation with God through prayer, there is a strong possibility that we will use power to further God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Starting back up! This fall look for our tweets and blog to become active again. We will have some surprises for you as well. Be sure to read our Advocate (sgaumc.org/advocate), follow me as I tweet (twitter.com/BishopJamesKing), and visit my blog at bishopking.org.
Until next time, remember – God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
Growing a Christlike world.
James R. King, Jr.