Now your church is asking you to invest four days in the summer of 2015 for a thing called “general conference.” Why on earth should you do that, when you could instead spend that time with the family in Yellowstone Park?
The bishops of the Free Methodist Church have asked that every church in the United States send at least one representative to General Conference 2015 next July 13–16. But we’re hoping that a lot more than one person comes from each church. In fact, we’re hoping you will come and bring your family. Why?
Well, first of all, we believe God wants you to. The Lord Jesus is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). So the most important thing we can do with our time — with our lives — is invest in His kingdom. If you want to see more people experience the joy of having sins forgiven, then the best investment of your time is to learn how to share His love, how to share His truth and how to help everyone in your church do the same. Ultimately, that’s what GC15 is all about.
Monday through Thursday, July 13–16, 2015, Free Methodists from around the world will converge on Orlando, Florida, for four days of learning, sharing, equipping and celebrating. We’ll learn how to:
- minister to hurting, broken people
- disciple others so they’ll grow deeper in their faith
- improve the spiritual health of our local churches
- raise up godly, competent leaders
- engage in worldwide ministry
- increase the number and variety of ministries flowing from our local churches
- bring other churches’ successful strategies home to our own churches
- plant churches in urban centers across the United States
- partner with others on social and spiritual issues to fulfill our mission and vision
Think about it. You’ll spend four days with leaders from across the church. You’ll share what’s working in your church. You’ll hear great stories of faith. You’ll join thousands of Free Methodists to worship God. It will increase your faith and skills. You’ll return home invigorated, excited and equipped to share God’s love and truth. See? It’s what God wants you to do!
Second, you should come to General Conference 2015 because it will be fun! GC15 is being held at a beautiful conference center with world-class accommodations, but buildings don’t create fun. Fun — real joy — comes when you’re in a setting where the Holy Spirit is overflowing, you’re surrounded by great people of faith and you’re caught up in the presence of God. Times like that are unforgettable … and great fun.
Finally, you should bring your family members to General Conference 2015 because they will have fun and grow in their spiritual walk. Every day of GC15, from 8:30 a.m. until noon and again from 1:30 until 4:30 p.m., kids and youth will be immersed in exciting activities especially designed to draw them closer to the Lord and teach them about Jesus. Our International Child Care Ministries leaders have created a special curriculum to teach kids about ministering to others. Some of our top youth leaders will be engaging middle school and high school youth in activities to serve, learn and have fun. There’s even a program for kids who are out of diapers but not yet in first grade.
It’s intentional, significant growth for your children. What could be more important than that? Nothing! Bring your family to General Conference 2015.
We know. You’re busy. But you can either spend four days in July 2015 “staying busy,” or you can invest your most valuable asset — time — in the most valuable pursuit. Come to GC15 and pursue holiness. Learn about transforming lives. Transform your own. Then go home, filled with the joy of the Lord.
Larry Roberts is the chief operating officer of the Free Methodist Church – USA.
New South Conference Superintendent Ron Balzer and his wife, Tamra Balzer, and their 3-year-old granddaughter, Hayleigh Fowler, were killed Aug. 10 during a collision on Interstate 75. Go to fmchr.ch/balzers to read Bishop David Roller’s reflections on the Balzers’ ministry and for information about how to support the scholarship fund for two of their children.
According to Pastor Tim Grimmett of the Open Door Community Church in neighboring Florissant, media depictions of Ferguson, Missouri, don’t reflect what life is like for many residents of this northern St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people. Go to fmchr.ch/pray4ferguson to read Grimmett’s thoughts about the protests and police shooting.
Takin’ It to the Streets Inc. — founded by Pastor Ron Hampton of New Vision Community Church-Shreveport — ministered July 19 to about 2,500 Shreveport-Bossier City residents. Participants received items of necessity and resource information to improve quality of life and build strong spiritual foundations. Go to fmchr.ch/takinshreveport for expanded coverage.
Have you watched Free Methodist Pastor Brandon Hatmaker and his wife, popular author Jen Hatmaker, and their five children on the HGTV series “My Big Family Renovation”? The series chronicles the Hatmakers as they buy and remodel a 105-year-old farm. “With a family our size, we always have drama,” Jen Hatmaker said. Go to fmchr.ch/fmonhgtv to learn more.0