All Hands on Deck

September 8, 2017

What’s your highest priority? Often, that which grabs our attention is the urgent – not the important. The truly important must command our very best.

Imagine the scene. Jesus has traveled from town to town. He has taught in the synagogues. His consistent message has been to announce the Good News about the Kingdom. He healed every kind of disease and illness. Not surprisingly, huge crowds turned out to be in his presence. Matthew writes, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 (NLT). As we encounter people in our communities, the scene is the same. If we have Jesus’s heart and vision, we must have compassion on our neighbors as well.

Jesus turns to the disciples and observes, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matthew 9:37-38 (NLT). Isn’t it reassuring that even Jesus lacked all the servants he needed to advance his mission? And yet Jesus knew there were two sources of meeting this great need – those who were already on the team and, more importantly, those who would emerge out of the harvest – individuals who were presently far from God but who would draw near and want to share with others the salvation they had received.

The Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association is five weeks away. We will gather in Houston on Saturday, October 14, and in 56 simulcast venues spread throughout the United States for “Move – On Mission With God.” This event is for laity and clergy. You don’t have to be a member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association to attend (although we would love for you to become a member). Now is the time for you to register and invite others to be present with you for a day of powerful worship, inspiring preaching and passionate messages as we seek the face of God and surrender to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

The Navy has a command that has been appropriated in other parts of our society: “All hands on deck.” When the command is given, it is a call for all members of a ship’s crew to come to the deck, usually in a time of crisis to deal with an emergency. The command has become an idiom used in other parts of our society to indicate that something so significant is about to occur that the involvement of all members of a team are required immediately.

The United Methodist Church is at a crossroads. In the coming months, important decisions will be made that will shape the future of the Wesleyan movement. We are clearly in an “All Hands On Deck” moment. This is a critical time for us to prepare for the next chapter of God’s movement among the people called Methodist. The WCA Global Gathering presents an opportunity for us to connect, build relationships and prepare for the future.

When Methodism was at its apex as a movement, the distinction between clergy and laity was minimal. Every Christ-follower, whether clergy or laity, knew the call of Jesus to be deployed to introduce people to Jesus and help them to mature in the Christian faith. Literally, it was “all hands on deck.” Somewhere along the way, far too many ceded the work to the professionals, choosing to become consumers and spectators.

But the Christian mission is not a spectator sport. The Wesleyan Covenant Association is committed to rekindling the passion that marked Methodists when our movement was most vibrant. As we gather at the live venue in Houston and at venues from coast to coast, we are fervently seeking a rebirth of the spirit that has marked Methodism at its best. We anticipate that Jesus’s prayer for workers for the harvest will be answered in our presence and through us. We expect that God will heal our disease and illness. And we will commit once again to being an apostolic movement advancing the Kingdom of God globally. God is not limited by the irreconcilable differences present in The United Methodist Church.

Don’t you want to be part of a world-changing movement! Register today and invite someone to attend with you. Let’s get moving with God! See you on October 14.

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