Mission = Discipleship


By Pam Braden

When he speaks at 8:45 a.m. today, Conference Director of Discipleship, Leadership, and Congregational Vitality Ken Willard will talk about mission and vision.

The mission of the church in the world is to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). In the West Virginia Conference, our mission is to “discover, develop, and deploy passionate spiritual leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Our vision is to be a Christ-led spiritual breath of fresh air that changes the world.

While mission explains what our organization does now, vision is future-oriented. The vision reminds us that we are not there yet. We still have work to do.

We are ALL called.

Willard says that while every church has a Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development, the committee’s work often stops after the nominations are closed. But nominating people is not enough.

We have to develop leadership, he adds. As church leaders are aging, there is a need to mentor young Christians into leadership.

Willard is a “numbers guy.”  He will tell us about our mission field in
West Virginia with some statistics that will convince us that we need to make disciples of homeland (Gen Z) and millennial (Gen Y) generations.

Willard is excited about learning the history of West Virginia. He is even more excited about the future and asking, “What’s next?”

Willard came to the West Virginia Conference staff last fall. He brings a wealth of experience in teaching church leaders to coach and develop new leaders. He is an author, speaker, and teacher. His book, Time Management for the Christian Leader or How to Squeeze Blood from a Turnip, is available on Amazon.