Pastor’s Report to Annual Charge Conference

My first report to this new charge of FUMC is meant to acquaint you with my normal course of work.  I adopt focuses that guide my work each year.  I have to establish priorities; otherwise I can end up doing many good things and not anything that makes a difference.  These focuses are rooted in my understanding of the condition of the congregation and my gifts and call.  Some will be resolved over the course of one year, others will remain in place over the course of several years; and some, like the first one, will only fade to slightly lesser emphasis in some years, but will guide my work each year.  In 2012, my focuses for ministry among the Body of Christ at FUMC, Irving are:

Continue to grow in our ability to offer purposeful worship.-The priority that will claim my time each week is to strive to provide a worship experience that purposeful.  Those planning worship will be clear regarding their objectives and outcomes each week.  Each worship service is intended to be part of the whole.  I will seek to discern what themes God desires for us to be talking about in the next 1-3 years.  Therefore, what we unfold in worship will not only be seeking to accomplish an immediate purpose, but also a longer term purpose of the call of God upon FUMC, Irving.  I refuse to just gather each week and not have a sense of why we are gathering.  We will be purposeful people; seeking God’s blessing on our worship that compels us to serve.

Introduce missional evangelism by providing incarnate examples to a growing number of the people of FUMC, Irving.– Many of you can tell stories of our changing neighborhood over the recent decades.  We are acutely aware Jesus calls us to reach our neighbors.  Therefore, reaching our neighbors in the 21st century requires a different response than in the 20th century.  The mandate to share the good news with neighbor has not changed, this is the evangelistic task.  The 21st century requires us to tell the good news in 21st century ways.  Missional evangelism is the way forward.  This means employing ourselves as servants among our neighbors.  I will lead us to investigate, experiment, and plunge into ways we can show the love of Christ to our neighbors inIrving,Texas.  This is what makes my heart beat.  I pray your heart will be stirred by my leading us toward being missional evangelists for Christ.

Initiate a holy conversation among key leaders and those who can enable us to better hear the call of God.-We have been having a holy conversation asking ourselves personally what God is calling “me” to do in the next three-five years.  I will want to shift that holy conversation to what God is calling “FUMC” to do in the next three to five years.  Holy conversations involve three primary characters-God, neighbor, and us.  Thus, the reframed question is what God is calling us to do about serving our neighbor.  Hold me accountable if most of my time is planning purposeful worship for those of us inside the walls of this church at the expense of not investing significant time into serving outside the walls of the church.  I will start this Holy Conversation with our key leaders during three Wednesday sessions, November 2, 9, 16 at 5:45 p.m.  We will spend these three weeks talking about the principles of having a holy conversation.  This time together can be a good launching pad to propel us toward 2012.

Each these focuses will be spelled out to SPRC with measurable outcomes that can be evaluated throughout the course of the year.  I take serious I am to produce fruit in the garden.  Pray for me as I offer myself to serving our gracious God, our not yet reached neighbors, and you, our faithful missioners seeking to serve God and neighbor together at FUMC, Irving.

Allow me to say thanks again.  All gifts are undeserved, and serving this place fits my call.  Those I serve are undeserved gifts.  I want to specifically thank each staff member who labor (believe me they labor) beside me each day.  The synergy we have experienced together is not only remarkable, but miraculous.  I thank the key chair people I have worked closely beside in these initial months.  They have made this transition not only easier, but possible.  Again, I personally thank Kathy Minturn, who has done a “yeo-woman’s” job in navigating this transition.  I could spell out names for the next half hour of people who have grown to mean something dear to me.  I will not take the time, so I am left with a simple word of gratitude: Thanks for the privilege of being the pastor of FUMC, Irving.  I pray my offering of service to you comes near my feelings of gratitude toward you.  Come Holy Spirit, Come!

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Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  

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