Finding True North

Jesus said to his disciples, “let us sail across the lake” (Luke 8:22). And he and his disciples set sail into the wind and the waves.

This is where we find our beloved United Methodist Church.  We are launching into strong head winds and challenging waters.  Yet, we have a divine vision and a true north that I believe will lead us safely to a new harbor.  As Bishop John Schol shared with us on Monday night, no matter what the legislative decisions made by the 2012 General Conference, change and transformation is already underway. 

At this General Conference, 72 United Methodist conferences representing 27,000 congregations around the world set discipleship goals in five key areas:
  1. Make new disciples
  2. Praise God in worship
  3. Grow through small groups
  4. Engage in mission in our communities and around the world
  5. Give generously to mission
These commitments represent our future. In four years, these goals translate into an increase in worship attendance to 3.6 million people; nearly 800,000 new disciples; 443,952 small groups; engaging 806,770 disciples in mission teams; giving $3.6 billion to the missional needs in our communities and around the world; and we will double the number of vital congregations.

Imagine what would happen across the church if we got 100% participation in the goal setting.  These disciple-making congregations are God's instruments of transformation in the church and world! Please visit to learn more about this effort.

Bishop John Schol and the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker will be speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. in the General Conference Press Room to further discuss the statistics and the goals of the Vital Congregations Initiative. (The GC Press Room is open to credentialed media representatives only.)

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