A Short Message to UMC Pastors after General Conference

4 03 2019

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United Methodist pastors and church leaders across the theological spectrum, I have a simple plea for you. No, I’m not trying to sway you to my “side.” No, I’m not even pausing to suggest that you treat each other with decency and respect (although that would be in order). No, my plea is even more basic than that.

Please take care of yourselves.

The above picture is a screenshot of my daily resting heart rate over the past month. In the month before General Conference, I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer number and intensity of the emails and letters I was receiving. So, in the week leading up to our specially called session, I took time off for a couple days of family vacation, and focused time of prayer and reflection. Want to guess which day was the last day of that short sabbath? You guessed it – my resting heart rate of 49 BPM – that was Friday, February 22nd. You can see how the next several days went. After experiencing what I’ve been referring to as “the toxic environment of Facebook” post General Conference, I essentially got off social media in an attempt to care for my own soul. As you can see above, my body has responded with a loud, “thank you!”

The stress is real, friends. And yes, I want to call you friends still. Though maybe you won’t want to be my friend after what I have to say here. At the end of the day, your statements of conviction on Facebook, or to the news outlets or even in your churches won’t have nearly as much influence on leading people to Jesus as the joyous, refreshed, Spirit-filled life you lead in your everyday life. Oh ya, many of us are no longer leading that kind of life. Instead, we’ve become consumed by the busy, the frantic and the reactionary.

I propose this. How about we take a few days – maybe a week or even all of Lent – and pause, reflect, be silent, love those closest to us, do something fun, walk with Jesus and receive his grace afresh in our lives – heck, maybe even laugh? Then, regardless of our theological bent, we will actually have something of God’s Kingdom to offer all those folks out there we say we want to embrace.

*Special shout out to our Illinois Great River Conference’s Pastoral Care and Counseling team – You have made yourself available for us during this time of immense stress. Thank you!*


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4 responses

4 03 2019
Charliam Renner

Amen. Thanks, Andy!

4 03 2019
Robert Souders

Thanks Andy.

4 03 2019
UM Fallout: A Compendium – People Need Jesus

[…] “A Short Message to UMC Pastors After General Conference” by Andy Adams.  Pastors, take care of yourselves. (Added 3-4-2019) […]

4 03 2019
Leigh Ann Acra

Appreciate you Andy, please remember to take care of yourself!!

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