The Power of WEPosted: September 17, 2012
I was 8 years old the first time I was on a team. I played right field for the “Cardinals” summer league baseball team in Fulton, Mississippi. I was not God’s most gifted person, especially since in those days the age groups were wider and I was the youngest on the team. But I had a hat and a team jersey. I barely remember the coach. What I do remember, though, is that we were a team. We practiced together, we played together, we won and we lost, as a team. I learned then and I have learned many times since, that we are stronger together than we are on our own. I’ve learned that it is a rare thing for a team to win because of one participant.
There is power in the “we.”
As I come to live and serve among you, my sense is that the power of we sometimes morphs into the power of me. I’m discovering that many of our clergy and laity feel isolated. I’m discovering that many of our congregations have lost touch with the larger sense of community with our neighboring sisters and brothers.
I’m discovering that we’ve lost a sense of the power of We.
In a day when life seems uncertain and in a day when there seems to be more bad news than good, we’ve a story to tell that is absolutely amazing! Did you know that together through the We, the United Methodist Church serves in over 2000 mission places throughout the world? Did you know that because of you, the United Methodist Church started 200 new churches in Vietnam alone?
The power of We.
In 1750 John Wesley introduced the idea of the conneXion. No, this is not a misspelling of the word we commonly use for the “Connection” but rather was Father Wesley’s way of introducing accountability among the Lay Preachers to one another. It was an attempt to help his local pastors understand that they were linked through Christ to one another. Indeed, Wesley taught that we are accountable to one another. In fact, Wesley went beyond the concept of team to speak of the concept of kin. He believed, and rightly so, that we are blood kin, kin through the blood of Jesus Christ, blood shed on the cross.
The power of We.
The power that We are not alone. We are intricately bound to one another not only because we share a common identity as members of the household of God, but also because we are the people called Methodist. And together, through our faithful giving, we can and will do more than we ever dreamed possible.
As your new bishop, I am expecting God to do greater things than we ever dreamed possible. I look forward to sharing in the ministry of Christ with you. We are on the same team, members of the same family, bound to one another through the cross of Jesus Christ!