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 ...

Kenya Trip 2015 - Final Reflection


Now is the time to begin our journey back home. On the way back to Nairobi for the long flight home, we had the opportunity to visit a safari camp and see all kinds of African animals: lions, a cheetah, elephants, zebras, lots of monkeys, orynx and more.  Truly, a once in a lifetime experience.   It’s also a time to begin reflecting on the Zoe Project. It is abundantly clear to me that lives are saved, certainly the course of those lives are dramatically changed by introducing hope into ...

Visit 6 - Sunday


Sunday – that means church. Reagan, the director of Zoe for Africa, invited us to his home church in a village about 1.5 hours from Maua. The distance wasn’t far but the road was a challenge - 1 mile/hour in some areas. It was worth the trip. A Methodist Church that defines hospitality. Wonderful music and preaching and a welcoming attitude that is an example to any church back home. We returned to the hotel for lunch and to wait for a visit to us from a working group formed in January, 2014 ...

Visit 5 - Saturday, February 7, 2015


Today, Saturday, we had the extraordinary experience of watching a Zoe group at its first organizational meeting. We all had been prepared for a tough day. We knew these orphans wouldn’t be telling us their success stories. These would be children living on the very edge. Children with no parents, no food security and no hope.   When we all gathered at their meeting place, a huge Acacia tree near a school, we were a little surprised. There were several, about 8 of the 28, that were ...

Visit 4


Today we visited with orphans who are in the 2nd year of the program. They began in April, 2014 so only 10 months later we find Zachary.  Zachary lives with his grandmother, both parents are deceased. He has 2 older brothers who are away from home looking for work. He has a 17 yr. old who has been in school but there wasn’t enough money to send both Zachary (19) and his younger brother. Zachary and his working group, The Visioners, have already begun their businesses. For Zachary, that means ...

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