'Time to Turbocharge the Tradition'
Florida Pastor Jorge Acevedo has observed that churches tend to have ‘Heroic Sole Leaders’ – a model that “often leads to fatigue, little innovation in making Disciples of Christ, over commitment, the inability to repeat success, and very little day-to-day accountability.”
He encouraged conference delegates and clergy leaders to instead affect change through healthy teams. “Consider Jesus and his disciples or Nehemiah and his team of wall builders,” he notes. “Our heritage shows Wesley as a team player and the world desperately needs team based ministry because 180 million people have literally no understanding of the Bible.”
1. Create a high level of trust and unity – every one understands that relationships are more important than the task
2. Commit to make disciples of Christ
3. Be able to confront difficult issues through innovation - even stupid ideas done with unity and commitment to the mission can get great results
4. Create a culture and a system for transformation to happen
5. Produce fruit
In Session #2, Acevedo related the importance of self leadership. “John Wesley said that Leaders have to have the discipline to read the Bible and pray every day, which means that the most important thing I lead… is my own life. We have to make sure we are grounded in God’s word through both prayer and scripture study.” He meets with his TEAM regularly, just as the early Methodists did, to hold each other accountable and ask each other: How is it with your soul? Are you abiding in Christ? Are you doing daily devotion? How is it with your ministry? How is our work?
Added Acevedo, “Remember, the target of John Wesley’s ministry was the dregs of English society and that, too, remains our goal. God has called us to reach out to those in need, to addicts of every kind meaning we have to reach those outside our church whom we may be uncomfortable with.”
In Session 3, he submitted another Turbocharged Tradition by encouraging churches to reach the poor, the marginalized and people hungry for a transcendent experience with God. “They have a father who is crazy about them – they just don’t know it yet,” he said. “It is our tradition,” he added, “considering the first building Methodists ever bought was an old foundry in London in 1738. The building was their center to feed the poor, worship and to start a school.”
In conclusion he challenges the members of the Texas Annual Conference: “Each of us must BE the mission and we must build healthy teams to make disciples of Christ to transform the world.”