A personal ‘Yay, God!’

Bishop Gary E. Mueller

Bishop Gary E. Mueller

It doesn’t matter what churches I have served, what honors I have received or what titles I have had bestowed upon me. The fact of the matter is I am still an itinerant Methodist preacher. So even though I have gladly made a covenant to go where I am sent, I must admit that I am delighted beyond words to have been reassigned to Arkansas as your bishop.

As many of you are aware, the last four years have been filled with a great deal of personal pain. Yet grace—both from God and you—has filled, healed, transformed, empowered and gotten me places I never could have gotten to on my own. Yay, God!

You are an amazing group of passionate, faithful, committed and joyful disciples of Jesus Christ who take seriously creating vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world. In a turbulent world and troubled church, you are uniquely situated to keep connected through prayer, long-standing relationships, deep conversation and shared mission. And I am convinced you already are showing the world what it means to be the Body of Christ. Yay, God!

So what is going to happen the next four years?

We will grow as grace-filled vessels who will seek to share God’s love in Jesus Christ so that people will not only become aware of the Good News of the Gospel, but also will experience the fullness of God’s unconditional, transformational and invitational love. Yay, God!

We will continue to experience spiritual revival that reawakens, renews and recharges us in the midst of a spiritual crisis that literally touches every aspect of life. Yay, God!

We will tweak the 10 next steps of the Bishop’s Mission Plan and, as a result, celebrate all the ways that formerly declining congregations are now growing in vitality. Yay, God!

We will engage the vast pain and brokenness in our mission field through 200,000 Reasons, address the racial divide in our communities and join with others to stop the endless cycle of violence. Yay, God!

We will wait on the Holy Spirit to surprise, call and empower us to be part of what God is up to in ways we cannot begin to dream right now. Yay, God!

I am filled with hope because I believe—and have experienced—what can happen when the Holy Spirit works through Jesus’ disciples. I love you. I have the deepest respect for you. And I am looking forward to being in ministry with you.

Yay, God!

Grace and peace,
Gary E. Mueller