“So how did you feel about General Conference?” I’ve been asked this many times – I’ve asked myself this
many times. It is a mixture of feelings:
Appreciation (is this a feeling?!)
First of all for the Ministry Centre Staff. I mean, I knew that they worked hard, but being a part of some of the
planning, and seeing all that happens behind the scenes gave me a whole new level appreciation for this gang!
I was also so appreciative of the many of you who pulled me aside to congratulate me and pray with me and
give me very affirming words – it meant more than you know. I was appreciative of the wig . . .
I felt a genuine sense of anticipation of what God has for us in this next season. So many of you mentioned the
atmosphere and General Conference experience this same way. We heard a powerful metaphor (and watched
it beautifully painted and sung!) that I hoped rocked all our boats – the river has moved, and the bridge is no
longer spanning the river! What’s it mean to build new bridges? Who are the “nones and dones,” and how will
my church take responsibility for them in my community?
I was excited about what happened Sunday night for 2.5 hours – we prayed. I only had four stations set up
because I had no idea how many of us would respond (by the way – each of these teams had been asked to
pray for you weeks prior to the event.) Karlene and I loved the opportunity to pray for you. I loved glancing
around to see the other teams praying. I loved your hearts as you asked God to heal your churches, your own
bodies, your families… I have loved hearing answers to these prayers! “If My people who are called by My
Name will humble themselves and pray…”
Healthy fear (and some unhealthy fear too!)
The unhealthy fear was (and in bad moments “is”) that I don’t want to mess up and let you down. I am
disciplined enough though to remember to take thoughts like this captive so as not to park myself there very
long or to not lead out of unhealthy fear. The healthy fear is remembering that I have been entrusted with a
great trust: to lead our movement into prayer, evangelism, into healing, into worship, into reconciliation, into
new partnerships, into creative ministry, into the Kingdom infiltrating the prevailing culture.
Karlene and I continue to pray for you. We have genuinely felt affirmed and well supported as a rookie team.
[Cliff Fletcher is the Bishop of The Free Methodist Church in Canada | [email protected]]