As we consider the future of the A.M.E. Zion Church, it is imperative that we consider what ministry looks like in its current context as well as what we can do to prepare for the future changes in the models of ministry. We cannot deny that times are changing. God’s message does not change but how we present the message must be adjusted to ensure we are reaching souls of all ages. Throughout my ministry I have always put God first because without God, nothing is possible, and nothing happens without acknowledging God and prayer. However, we must realize that God wants more of us. He does not want us to become so comfortable with our past that we forget how to move forward and serve this present age.
Many of our churches are looking to their Episcopal leadership for direction in their local area but they are also looking for leaders who have experience working within the church on a Connectional, Regional, and Episcopal level so that they can present ideas that are effective and consistent with the Book of Discipline. The role of a Bishop in the A.M.E. Zion Church is not limited to presiding over Annual Conferences and Check-Up Meetings. Our Bishops also lead Administrative Boards, represent Zion on various boards and at Ecumenical functions, and collaborate with one another to make decisions that impact the future of our church. I have experience on all of these levels which provide me with great insight into why decisions are made and how we can begin shifting the culture of our ministries.
Throughout my ministry, I have enjoyed traveling the Connection and getting to know members of our church. My willingness to serve wherever asked has afforded me the opportunity to witness ministry in all contexts. It is my goal to continue being present for those I serve while doing the work of ministry inclusively, responsibly and excellently. I will listen to the concerns of our membership while also teaching alternative models of ministry based on my experiences.
As “The Freedom Church” we wave the banner of liberation high as a testimony to our rich legacy. Moving forward, we must make every effort to liberate ourselves and others. This includes following the social gospel that Jesus preached and joining the fight for social justice in all of our communities while facing the reality of why we are oppressed with the burden of assessments. God established the way of financing the church. Let’s be real and not be afraid to talk and preach about money.
We serve an all-powerful God who can do anything but fail. As we consider the future of the A.M.E. Zion Church, we should think big! We should always be looking for ways to expand our reach and to develop healthy leaders and congregations. Making financial, mental, physical, and spiritual health a priority will not only benefit us internally but will also help us fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples. I am ready to begin this process!