Letter from Bishop Bledsoe to the NWTX Conference, Summer 2015

Did you know that professions of faith increased from 2013 to 2014 in Northwest Texas? Did you know that our worship attendance increased as well? That is great news and I believe we are beginning to turn a corner! I appreciate all of the work that the churches in NWTX are doing to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” You are faithful people and dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the church. It is a blessing for me to be your bishop.

I would like to say a special word of appreciation for those churches that have given 100% of their shared ministries and to those that have increased their giving. I expect all churches to pay 100% because that is the best way to accomplish the work we are called to do together.

Our local churches and conference leaders have done their part in terms of following through on a 3-part plan. More local churches are giving 100% and many churches are stepping up their giving by 10% each year. From 2012 to 2014, the conference budget was reduced by more than $1 million in order to help all sizes of churches increase their participation in shared ministries. Also, in 2015, the adopted budget is $150,000 less than the prior year.

As Dave Andersen, our Conference Treasurer, likes to remind us, “this is not really about money; it is about ministry.” I agree. It is about our mission. Remember that our support of Shared Ministries allows us to be about our mission. Every United Methodist Church across the globe is working on our common mission.

Kingdom effectiveness requires that we move from our preference to God’s purpose. As Spirit-empowered disciples making disciples, we must persistently concentrate on the fruitfulness of outcomes of our ministries. We continue to focus on four areas that produce good fruit:

               creating new places for new people,

               establishing clear expectations and metrics for leaders,

               cultivating a new generation of young and ethnic clergy, and

               aligning resources with our mission.

These are four broad, effective, ways to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Accordingly, we will move forward with this Kingdom work and we will give 100% in all we do.

Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe

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