As the Bermuda grass browns and tree leaves turn shades of yellow and red, they announce the coming of fall and of Charge Conferences. United Methodist Churches across the country begin to tally numbers and fill out forms. The stack of required forms invite pastors and congregations into conversations. How is the health of the church? What can we celebrate? Who do we need to highlight for their bold ideas and faithful service? Where is the mission team going next year? When does the new worship service start, the new ministry begin?
The pile of papers may prompt other needed conversations too, ones harder to have. What is our vision now? How can we love our neighbors—the ones we don’t see? Who can we partner with so that ministry continues here—in our community, in the building we’ve loved but can no longer maintain? When do we talk about legacy instead of survival?
Let the Charge Conference season be a time of prayerful engagement. Let it lead you deeper into the questions you need to ask.