We just celebrated the work of 70 congregations in 22 counties over the past year. This transpired in 24 hours over two days! In my church family, we gather once a year in something called “District Assembly.” This is where we come together to hear reports and to elect clergy and lay leaders for our district. Pastor’s report sharing the highlights of their respective congregations, I give a report on my activities of the past year as well as cast vision for the next year. This all culminates with an ordination service where this year five women and men were ordained into ministry. A lot of things are compacted into a little bit of space. Why do we do this?
*We all need accountability.
*We are stronger together.
*We like each other.
*We need to be reminded that the church of Jesus Christ is larger than my congregation.
*We remind ourselves of our priorities.
*We hear great stories of what God is doing.
*We lean in and learn from each other.
*We can encourage one another.
*We can be challenged and inspired.
Much of what we receive by coming together depends on where we are in our lives and ministry. It is true for my life that times when I felt the presence of the Lord in powerful ways came when I was together with a group of believers. Jesus said that “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.” Experience teaches me that it has been in worship services, conferences, and ministerial meetings and other times when gathered with God’s people that I have had the Spirit meet me at my point of need and offered me healing, His peace, and comfort.
Today I thank God for the encouragement and sense of His presence that I experienced in our recent time together with our pastors and people from across the 70 churches in our area. I am better for having been with the people of God. It is impossible to condense a year into two days, but I am glad that we tried. Thank you Indianapolis District for your love and support and encouragement. You are the best!