Every four years the General Conference of The Wesleyan Church meets, and 2020 was to be the year.
The coronavirus pandemic altered life and General Conference too. The quadrennial event was postponed until 2021. With postponement came unexpected, extended terms for the General Board and Executive Cabinet — an overtime in service, if you will. In the sports world, that’s extra minutes or innings. We’re staying with the game plan (mission, vision, strategic focus and values), counting on those who have been contributing all along. We’re also making some adjustments and leaning into a sense of urgency to grasp fresh opportunities.
Overtime began with the TOGETHER global prayer meeting led by a “Kingdom Force” of anointed prayer warriors. On Pentecost Sunday (May 31), Wesleyans around the globe prayed to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit that we might be empowered witnesses, closing the Gospel Gap and reaching our Here, Near and Far — no matter how Hard. We asked God to make us a Kingdom Force — multigenerational, multiethnic and multieconomic, women and men, lay and clergy, everywhere to everywhere. That prayer emphasis permeated the summer.
Wesleyan churches of all sizes and contexts are investing energy into “regathering” and responding to the racism and violence that grips North America with international ripples. In unprecedented ways, technology is being harnessed for our mission. Disciple-making is extending further beyond the church walls into homes and workplaces and community engagement. A spirit of generosity in the midst of adversity and a commitment to be “people of peace with prophetic presence” in settings of conflict are evident.
Struggles are real. Opportunities abound for love and kingdom impact. What a time for every person to “be the church,” transforming lives, churches and communities through the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ.