By Bishop Jonathan Holston
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plan will succeed (Proverbs 16: 3).
Planning is crucial to Christian leadership. In fact, it is often the determining factor between success and failure.
John Maxwell, president of Injoy Ministries, defines planning this way: Planning looks forward, crafts a strategy and makes wise preparations.
Following are some perspectives on planning from a diverse cast of personalities:
- You gotta be careful if you don t know where you re going, because you might get There (Yogi Berra).
- You can never plan the future by the past ( Edmund Burke).
- Unless commitment is made there are only promises and hopes; but no plans (Peter Drucker)
- Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning (Thomas Edison)
As you receive this edition of the Advocate, we will be preparing for the 2013 session of the S.C. Annual Conference. Delegates (lay and clergy) will gather in Florence June 9-12 for a four-day period of praying, singing, planning and reporting. Our agenda items include the approval of a conference budget, licensing, commissioning and ordaining persons for ministry, recognizing the ministry of our retiring clergy, as well as celebrating the lives of our beloved in a service of remembrance.
High on our list of activities will be our Stop Hunger Now event to be held on Tuesday, June 11. We are asking United Methodists across the state to gather and help assemble 285,000 meals bound for the people of Haiti. Also, the additional monies raised in this effort will be equally divided among our 12 districts and allocated for hunger projects in these areas. This is a part of our effort to fight hunger around the world and at home.
Secondly, we will launch a significant initiative to address education and poverty in our beloved state. Joining with the Pan-Methodist Initiative with Children and Poverty, our task force led by Martha Thompson will give leadership in sensitizing all of us to the needs of education. As people of faith, we believe that every person has the right to an education which is more than minimally adequate. I am excited that we recognize the urgency of now in this effort.
The final act of business will come on Wednesday as we read the pastoral appointments for 2013-2014.
As you can see, excellent planning is allowing God to be revealed among us in exciting and faithful ways. As we move closer to Annual Conference, consider these final words on planning:
- Never look back unless you re planning to go that way (Henry David Thoreau).
- To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe (Anatole France).
- I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
I ll see you in Florence.