INDIANAPOLIS – Using Acts 2:42-47 (the conference theme) “Making ROOM” as his Scriptural text, Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner asked the members of the Indiana Annual Conference to do what the disciples were doing: learning, loving and leading together during opening worship June 8.

He said the early Pentecost Day Christians learned from the disciples about Jesus as the disciples recalled and told the stories of their experience with Jesus. That was the beginning of the learning process.

He said they also learned to love, not just the ones they knew, but each one in the community, meeting the needs of each, especially the widows and the orphans. Today, that loving has resulted in health care and educational institutions related to the church.

They also became leaders as the disciples taught them to be leaders, resulting in a new movement that changed the world.

Coyner said the key to learning, loving and leading is doing these three together.

“We are so individualistic about leadership,” he said. “We need to teach every local church that each group (in the church) needs to be that kind of (together) group – learning, loving and leading.”

This kind of leadership needs to be experienced on church councils, in covenant groups, in church clusters, in district centers, in the conference center – in every church staff.

He said the promise we receive is the same type of awe that the early Christians felt when they saw what God could do – the awesomeness of God. Coyner left members with the question: “Can we be that kind of people?” If so, then the Spirit unites us. We become the people God wants us to be – learning, loving and leading.