The election of the next three bishops of the Free Methodist Church – USA will take place Wednesday, July 17, the second day of General Conference 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Here is more information about the nominees in their own words.
I’m grateful to be among the global leaders of the Free Methodist Church – USA at this opportune moment. The winds of change are blowing, and I believe the wind of the Spirit is also blowing. As director of International Child Care Ministries, I’ve visited 39 of the countries where our Free Methodist family shines the light of the gospel, including broad exposure here in the United States. Wherever we press on to love God passionately and love people practically, beautiful things happen. Lost people experience God’s love and power; walls are broken down through the reconciling work of the cross; marginalized people are enfolded into the community of faith; children are welcomed and developed; leaders are empowered and raised up; and the mission of God becomes a life-giving, transforming force, both locally and globally. Since 1977, my heartbeat has been for racial reconciliation in the Body of Christ. I know in the depths of my being that if we want God’s favor in its fullest manifestation, we will find it in oneness. The Beloved Community heals its own members while spilling over to bring shalom to the surrounding city or town and region and extending the love and salvation of God to the ends of the earth. Let us be that community!
To watch Linda’s video click here!
To listen to Linda’s podcast click here!
As I have been praying about the future of the Free Methodist Church, and about the possibility of serving as a bishop, I find much of my prayer for the FMC is similar to my prayer for the Genesis Conference, where I currently serve as superintendent. The Lord reminds me that what I am focusing on in Genesis is what I would continue to focus on if I were to become a bishop. My leadership calling includes:
• Raising and developing new fruitful servant leaders, particularly focusing upon the next generation.
• Empowering and networking already fruitful servant leaders to lead and train.
• Moving each church toward being fruitful (seeing new people coming to faith and being transformed by the gospel) and multiplying.
• Encouraging and resourcing churches in launching new ministries, campuses, and churches.
• Orienting denominational structures toward serving each local church, since it is the collective health of local churches that determines the health of the denomination.
• Communicating and clarifying our identity, enfolding a new generation.
• Being a purveyor of hope in a cynical culture.
I asked people in Genesis to describe me. Words they used include: visionary, passionate, apostolic, strategic, faith-filled, creative, out-of-the-box problem solver, collaborative, change agent.
To watch Pam’s video click here!
To listen to Pam’s podcast click here!
My life scripture is John 15:1–8. After 28 years of ministry in a wide variety of settings, I am deeply aware that apart from Him I can do nothing. Yet I can say with equal conviction that God has been so faithful to provide everything needed to “bear much fruit” as I abide in Him.
I pray fervently for our delegates as they choose our next bishops. We are living in a time of unprecedented challenges: pervasive secularism, rapidly changing social values, widespread divisiveness and polarization, and distrust of institutions — including the church.
Those who lead us must have the wisdom to discern the inherent opportunities created by these challenges. With our unwavering commitment to the authority of God’s Word, our Wesleyan heritage of personal and social holiness, and our long history of courageously confronting systemic evil, our tribe has the right message for the times.
Embracing lean and flexible structures, eliminating institutional impediments, and cultivating a passion for spiritual vitality, relational health, and leadership development, I envision a Spirit-fueled movement that unleashes the creativity of a new generation of Free Methodists and empowers every member of our tribe to take the light and life of Jesus Christ everywhere we go.
To watch Keith’s video click here!
To listen to Keith’s podcast click here!
It has been an honor to be nominated as a Bishop candidate to serve our Free Methodist Family! Kristi and I are deeply humbled and excited to serve in any capacity God places us. We have had the privilege to serve in churches from 70 to 30,000 in size and in multiple cultural contexts. For 36 years we have witnessed the power of Gods spirit transform individuals, families and communities. We can’t wait to see what is going to happen next!
Our Vision for the FMC:
Is to equip, nurture and grow a highly contextual network of leaders, multiplying churches and Ministry partners to transform their local communities and beyond for the cause of Christ.
– By leveraging FMC global leadership to prayerfully and strategically architect a high impact, contextual movement that spreads the Gospel to every culture, nation, person, age and gender.
– Confront and help mend Socio-Political, Sexual, Racial, Gender and Cultural fractures by compassionately and courageously sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in any arena.
– Recruit, equip and release a network of Church Planters in strategic urban settings throughout the world.
– Recalibrate our churches by coaching, resourcing and partnering with them to become healthy multiplying churches that can navigate and thrive through the complexities and realities of their community.
– Create God honoring Music and Arts that spiritually impacts the world.
– Develop a Missions/Cause consciousness and involvement in every household, church and corporation in America.
– Leveraging and resourcing our institutions of higher learning to become strategic training centers to develop healthy leaders who can reproduce themselves, share the Gospel, shape culture and serve human need.
-The FMC will be dedicated to targeting and reaching a generation that is on the verge of reshaping the very foundation of American culture. As the mantel of corporate, academic and cultural leadership is transitioned to them, Millennial / Gen Y/Z will be the first generations that will influence and navigate in an exclusively post-modern America. It will be our goal to leverage their hunger for authentic community, desire to be mentored, and cause driven/activistic desire to change their world.
To watch Jason’s video click here!
To listen to Jason’s podcast click here!
I’m honored to be a Bishop nominee alongside my colleagues. When I accepted Jesus, in that moment, God called me to cross-cultural ministries – to minister to the least of these, be a servant leader, have a teachable spirit, and mold pastors and leaders.
Bishops must be persons of prayer, hearing from God, speaking the wisdom of God, and have Godly discernment to lead. They must be honorable, persons of integrity and Christ-like character, able to objectively navigate decision-making, and have transparent, honest conversations. Their giftings must complement their colleagues to accomplish the Lord’s will for the Church.
My first assignment began in 1991 in the inner-city of St. Louis. My wife, Estelle, and I pastored the community, and God used the Lighthouse FMC to bring healing there.
In the Gateway and Acts 12:24 Conferences, we ministered in rural settings, revivals, FM camps, and colleges. We’ve served internationally through preaching and pastoral leadership development in the UK, Guatemala, the DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania. In Africa, I have worked with Bishops, Superintendents, pastors and leaders who are eager for collaboration with the US.
I’m a visionary leader with a passion for developing the church. We must strengthen our existing churches while having a church planting multiplication movement. As the Chair of the African Immigrants Ministries (AIM), affiliated with FMWM, I work with African immigrant families, proactively organizing systems to prepare them for leadership in the FMC-USA.
I am lead pastor of John Wesley FMC, an international church, and we just launched LifeWay FMC.
To watch Kenny’s video click here!
To listen to Kenny’s podcast click here!
I understand leadership as both a spiritual gift and a sacred trust. Melanie and I have prioritized our personal commitments to Jesus and our marriage as the beginning points of our leadership influence.
After the model of Jesus, I further understand leadership to be servant-oriented. Our goal in the Pacific Northwest Conference has been to serve churches and leaders catalyzing a vision that together we are able to do more than in isolation. Care for pastors and members, stewardship of resources, and risking for mission have characterized the teams that I have led.
A responsible, Spirit-filled understanding of Jesus’ dual priorities of the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment requires of us regular evaluation of systems, structures and strategies. Our Wesleyan worldview contributes a special emphasis of holistic love and reconciling hope. I am confident that the Free Methodist Church still offers a unique gospel witness in the world as we live courageously into our calling.
Leadership is a privilege, and I am honored to be considered a nominee for bishop alongside four outstanding candidates. Melanie and I are at peace and in prayer as God’s will is revealed in this important process.
To watch Matt’s video click here!
To listen to Matt’s podcast click here!