INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.––Leaning on Matthew’s story of the “Feeding of the 5,000,” South Carolina Area Bishop L. Jonathan Holston closed the assembly with a story of how the disciples were sure there would never be enough to feed the multitude.
They could find only two loaves and five fishes.
“They talked out of their poverty,” said the bishop
Jesus asked the disciples to give him the loaves and fishes.
“He took what they had and gave it back to them and said, ‘Go’,” said the bishop.
With that modest beginning the disciples fed 5,000 people, and they filled 12 baskets with the leftovers.
“We too often think of what we can’t do instead of what we can do,” said Holston. “When you think you don’t have enough, give it to God. You’ll do more than you ever thought you could do.”
The bishop recalled how he used the same principle to increase the number of men attending annual South Carolina retreats.
In 2013, only 150 people attended.
“I thought, wait a minute, I serve a God who has a God-size vision,” said Holston. “So, I said, ‘Next year, we’re going to have 500.’ You could have heard the breath go out.”
Like the disciples, the bishop said, the men only saw five loaves and two fish.
Nevertheless, they prayed for God’s guidance, and they invited their neighbors. The next year, 576 attended the retreat. The number jumped again in 2015 and 2016.
In 2017, 1,200 people attended.
“We stopped saying, what we can’t do and gave everything to God,” he said.
“We aren’t perfect people, but we serve a perfect God, and God can change the world.
Now is the time for UM Men to make a difference,” he said. “Bring it all and watch God lift it up, bless it, and give it back to you.