“The Spirit is always moving to sweep the Church into a new mission age. With openness and gratitude we await the leading of the Spirit in ways not yet seen.…” — Global Ministries Mission Theology Statement
Thomas Kemper, General Secretary at the General Board of Global Ministries, led the conference in a conversation about Generous Missions, beginning with the above Mission Theology Statement.
Knowing that God is already at work, our goal is to discover where God is already at work and join into God’s mission (missio Dei) to reconcile the world and invite them into communion with Christ.
What we are discovering is the mission is coming from the margins. “By 2050, one in four Christians will live in sub-Sahara Africa. China already has the third largest Christian population in the world.”
The world is changing; how will we lean into this major shift in Christendom?
The Global Ministries has more than 30 countries represented in their Atlanta office working together to serve the world. Each area is staffed by those indigenous to that culture in order to be able to serve them effectively.
Dr. Kemper highlighted the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Founded in 1940, it was originally created to serve refugees and those impacted by the emerging global conflict. UMCOR (umcor.org) is a vital part of the overall mission of Global Ministries to unite disaster relief and impact those during crisis with spiritual care.
Global migration and refugee issues are again a primary concern of Global Ministries with the ongoing conflicts of the Middle East. It has always been the call of the Christian community to serve those who have been displaced. Christianity finds its origin in the Old Testament as a displaced people.
Jesus himself fled to Egypt to escape persecution. It is important that the Christian church, and The United Methodist Church especially, welcome and advocate for those who are displaced by war and persecution.
Human migration has also been used by God to reach new people. Migrants who traveled to the US or other countries and embraced faith through Methodist churches and then felt called to return to their home countries are spreading the gospel of love and hope that transformed their lives across the globe.
Other initiatives include:
- The Center for Mission Innovation (CMI) which aims to provide a laboratory for the Church to learn best practices and new innovations in both local and global missions. Learn more at centerformissioninnovation.org.
- Generation Transformation – a ministry that provides opportunities for mission volunteers and Global Mission Fellows who are 20-30 years old. More information can be found at umcmission.org/Get-Involved/Generation-Transformation.
To learn more about United Methodist missions visit UMCMission.org.