Many years ago, someone asked me what does it take to be a Pastor? I thought about it for a few minutes, and then replied, lots of prayer and just being faithful. This passion we have for serving God and being that shepherd over the congregation is not an easy job. There are times when we will struggle, moments we want to throw in the towel yet, this passion we have, pushes us to be faithful and continue the journey.
When we think of those before us, with all the segregation we know Richard Allen had many challenges, yet he was faithful. In just trying to bring the Word and reach those who needed a Savior, Rev. Jareena Lee didn't let nothing or no one stop her. She was faithful. Our Bible teaches us that the journey of Moses, David, Esther and others was more than challenging, yet they remained faithful.
We are in very trying times. Our nation is on shaky grounds, our children are facing challenges of bullying, drugs, shootings and just trying to live a normal life. And God only knows what that is.
My words to each of you this conference year, is to BE FAITHFUL. Let us not lose the spirit of Richard Allen. His work was about ministry and not budgets. And if ever there was a time for ministries, it's NOW. People are searching for a place of peace and solace. Young folk need a place of acceptance, no matter what the gender preference. We must be that church where everyone is accepted no matter what they look like or smell like. Someplace in our hearts we must be the hospital for broken lives, broken hearts, and broken spirits.
This year, I ask all of you to think outside of traditions and what has always been and make a conscientious effort to broaden your ministries to reach every generation. We are losing our young people because we either don't care or refuse to recognize their needs. Since I've been a Presiding Elder, I have had the unfortunate task of closing seven churches. Our churches are dying because we refuse to do a new thing. Those before us that kept pressing on, learned they had to step out on faith. I encourage you to do the same. Someone had to have enough faith to believe an airplane would fly. Someone had to believe a car would be better than a horse. Someone had to have a vision that allowed them to create a cell phone. Someone must have enough faith to believe scripture that says, "I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me." If you believe it, then BE FAITHFUL and do a new thing.