What can you expect from me?


My quest to get into every District before Christmas is under way. I'm off to a great start, and am looking forward to personally meeting many more folks in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. 
I have already visited four of the 10 districts. I have been amazed and overwhelmed with the wonderful ways that you have welcomed and received me.
One of the things I have been sharing with each district is EXPECTATIONS. I firmly believe that unrealistic, or under-stated and unstated expectations are often the root causes of confusion, chaos, and disappointment.  Allow me to share a few things that I expect of you and that you can expect from me as your new Bishop.
Here are seven things that I expect of you:

  1. I expect you to do your best.  I want your "A Game!”  Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
  2. I expect you to have and utilize a Team Approach to Ministry. One of the beauties of our denomination is that we are "connectional." We depend on one another, and we count on each person's gifts to be successful.
  3. I expect your support of our stated vision and values both publicly and privately. We will achieve more as we pull together in the same direction.
  4. I expect and desire your prayers. My goal is to be the most prayed for Bishop in the denomination.
  5. I expect you to continue to be generous givers. Both tithes and offerings should be the norm for those that love the Lord.
  6. I expect great reports of fruitful and successful growing and vibrant ministries. The harvest is still plentiful and we are expected to participate as co-laborers with Christ.
  7.  I expect you to have fun serving the Lord and working for the advance of Christ. I read the back of the book, and we win! So, relax and enjoy serving the Lord.
Here are seven things you can expect from me:
  1. Consistency - Just like everyone else I have good days and bad days, but you will find me to be a person of consistency.
  2.  Support - I am here to serve and support the IGRC. I am here for both laity and clergy, and I will support you with my prayers, my concern for you and the church you attend, my encouragement of your existing and emerging ministries, and with my trust. 
  3. I will be faithful in my devotion to Christ and to the IGRC. You can count on me to be loyal no matter what is going on. I will honor and uphold my vows.
  4. Collaborative Leadership. I will engage others in the decision-making process. I will work with intentionality to ensure that many voices are heard.
  5. Honesty, you can count on me to provide clarity, rationale, and perspective. There may be times for confidentiality, but you will always get an honest response from me.
  6. Generosity. I believe that leaders set the pace and should model extravagant generosity.  You can count on Melissa and me to tithe and to give above and beyond.
  7.  Respect for all voices and a genuine love and respect for the members and constituents of IGRC. I am here to be a servant-leader, and I will work to earn your respect and trust as I strive to provide Christ-like leadership.
I hope to see you and to be able to greet you soon. Thanks for all that you do to help IGRC to be a strong and vibrant Conference for Jesus. I believe the Lord expects and deserves our very best.
God bless,
Bishop Beard

(Bishop Beard invites United Methodists from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to join his Facebook group and by praying for him as he desires to be "the most prayed for bishop" in the entire United Methodist Church.)