United Methodists Love All the Children

Bishop Scott Jones


We love all the children. Let’s take it word by word.   WE Deep in the heart of United Methodist people is a commitment to care for children. We baptize infants, helping them experience the saving grace of God from the beginning of life. We hold Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Schools and special children’s celebrations. We have children’s sermons in worship and make a major focus on confirmation classes. In short, we have poured a lot of effort into discipling young people. It is who we are.   ...

Cultivate New Growing, Vibrant, Missional Congregations

Bishop Scott Jones


Why are there so many United Methodist congregations between the Allegheny Mountains and the Rocky Mountains? The Methodist movement was extraordinarily successful between 1790 and 1890 for three reasons. First, European immigration was changing the demographic make-up of the middle states. As settlers came to these areas, they wanted to create a civilization that would improve their quality of life. They not only built farms, ranches and businesses, but they created schools, colleges and ...

Investing in the Young

Bishop Scott Jones


How did I get to be 62 years old? When did that happen? Mary Lou and I discuss that often, because we still feel young. There are days I believe that I am still 27 years old. But then my attempts to handle athletic challenges like I did 35 years ago usually do not go well, and I realize I am no longer a young man. After all, I am now a grandfather of three girls. That changes my perspective So I am embracing our Conference’s focus on “Investing in the Young”. Our website says “’Young’ includes ...

Giving Your Life Away

Bishop Scott Jones


Lent is the season of sacrifice. People give up things for Lent and pastors often invite their church members to a higher level of spiritual discipline. This is all right and good, because it is a season that brings us back to some of the most important themes of the Christian life. Let me summarize it as three clear propositions: 1. We serve a Lord who modeled sacrifice. He left heaven to be born as a baby in Bethlehem, emptying himself for us and for our salvation (Philippians 2:1-12). 2. We ...

Every United Methodist Should be an Evangelist

Bishop Scott Jones


On several occasions I have preached a sermon on the Great Commission during which I look at the congregation, making as much eye contact as possible, and said “God has called you to be an evangelist.” I then pause waiting for that to sink in. Inevitably signs of discomfort become evident. People are thinking “That’s crazy” and “Who is this visiting preacher, anyway?” I know that such a claim pushes people outside their normal self-understanding. Some are thinking of Billy Graham filling ...

We are the Church

Bishop Scott Jones


“I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world, yes we’re the church together.” (United Methodist Hymnal, #558) The words of Richard Avery and Donald Marsh indicate that all who follow Jesus are, in some sense, the church of Jesus Christ. But what do we as United Methodists mean by that?   We need greater clarity about our understanding of church.   The first point to be made is that following Jesus as a disciple means belonging to a ...

Louisiana Relief

Bishop Scott Jones


Recently, I received a note of appreciation I want to share with you. Louisiana Conference Bishop Cynthia Harvey sent “Thank you so much for the amazing ADDITIONAL gift to the flood relief efforts!  I am grateful for many things but I count you and the Texas Annual Conference Family among the greatest gifts.  Once again, the Connection is at its best!”   Bishop Harvey was responding to the second gift from you in the Texas Annual Conference to the flood relief efforts in Louisiana. We have ...

A Global Church

Bishop Scott Jones


I am pleased and honored to serve as bishop of the Texas Annual Conference. I am also pleased and honored to serve as bishop of the United Methodist mission in Laos and Thailand.   If you are surprised by my involvement in Southeast Asia, you are not alone. Leaders of the Texas Annual Conference discovered that, by receiving me as bishop, they were also going to have a connection with our mission work in Laos and Thailand.   Let me explain. Every United Methodist congregation and pastor has a ...

Embodying Unity in Turbulent Times

Bishop Scott Jones


On the connectional level, we United Methodists are in for some turbulent times. In the midst of many different forces seeking to blow us off course, it is crucial that we remember: the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Some of the turbulence is coming at us from the current issues facing American culture. Specifically, a variety of forces have led our political life to be characterized by shallow posturing, inaccurate soundbites, polarized factions, demonizing insults and ...

Privileged to Serve With You

Bishop Scott Jones


What a privilege it is to serve God through the United Methodist Church! I am a fully committed follower of Jesus, and I believe that participating in the Wesleyan movement is the best way to serve Christ. I would do that as a layperson, but the opportunity to serve full-time as a pastor, seminary professor and now bishop is an incredible blessing for me. Now I get to serve as part of the Texas Annual Conference. I am blessed to have been assigned here. I have heard many wonderful things about ...

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