The 2019 annual conference session's special guest was the Rev. Michael Mather, pastor of Broadway UMC in Indianapolis. He spoke about prioritizing people in ministry and emphasized the importance of reaching out to the community to better understand how to serve others.
Mather told stories about how his congregation became more vital to its community by truly getting to know the people around it and harnessing their gifts to reach even more people. In each case, Mather said, it was critical to view situations from a standpoint of abundance of what God was providing to the church and to the people around it.
“In John 10:10, Jesus says, ‘I come that you may have life abundant.’ It doesn’t mean life abundant when everything is alright,” Mather said. “It doesn’t mean life abundant when your pocket is full. It means life abundant right here, right now, in this moment. God’s spirit has fallen upon all people — young and old, women and men. We began to talk around our place and asked, ‘What if we lived as if the gospel was true?’”