Evangelism and church growth

Rev. Igor Volovodov, pastor of Peter and Paul United Methodist Church in Vovonezh, Russia, baptizes a parishioner. 2008 file photo by Jan Snider, United Methodist Communications.
Rev. Igor Volovodov, pastor of Peter and Paul United Methodist Church in Vovonezh, Russia, baptizes a parishioner. 2008 file photo by Jan Snider, United Methodist Communications.

Global Ministries is committed to deepening its partnerships around the globe. In order to better serve and engage our partners, we have opened regional offices in Seoul, South Korea and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Preparations to open a third office on the Continent of Africa are underway. This presence, both global and regional, enables us to connect the church in mission in new and innovative ways that increase capacity for mission and effectiveness in our shared work of spreading God’s love and grace.

Mission Initiatives

Since 1992, Global Ministries has engaged in new or renewed mission initiatives in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Mission initiatives planted 963 new faith communities in the seven years from 2009-2016. These movements take increasing responsibility for their leadership and governance. Vietnam now has local Elders in Mission; Cambodia has transitioned to an all-indigenous cabinet (district superintendents); and Honduras, Vietnam, Cameroon, and Senegal have partnerships with boards of ordained ministry in existing annual conferences to ordain clergy locally. Missionaries are still essential in a range of roles, primarily as trainers, facilitators, and specialists.

Some initiatives have matured to the point of becoming more integral parts of the United Methodist connection. Annual conferences have been established in Russia and other parts of Eurasia. Malawi is now a provisional annual conference and Lithuania and Latvia are districts of the Estonia Annual Conference.

“I look upon all the world as my parish,” John Wesley once said. He couldn’t have known the guiding impact this statement would have on the church today. Global Ministries has since served a mandate to craft and implement programs to extend the gospel into the world. Mission initiatives accomplish this in specific locations where the church is living out the call to make disciples.

In Mission Together

In Mission Together (IMT) partnerships, often a key part of mission initiatives, provide an opportunity for individuals, congregations, and conferences to develop healthy partnerships for mission and ministry. A vision of asset-based, long-term relational partnerships practicing mutuality in mission have replaced previous mission approaches that often provided only needs-based, short-term relief. IMT coordinators are available to equip a church or conference with the training and resources it needs to move to a new way of “doing mission” that builds capacity, utilizes everyone’s skills and resources, and fosters self-sufficiency.

National Plans for Ethnic/Language Ministries

The national plans for ethnic and language ministries are United Methodist initiatives that build solidarity while providing resources for growth within ethnic ministries of the church. These plans consist of goals for congregational development, recruitment, and training of pastoral and lay leadership, immigration ministries, development of language resources, fostering of global partnerships and development of community ministries.

Current ethnic and language ministry plans:

Racial Ethnic Plan Missionaries

Racial and Ethnic Plan missionaries serve a coordinated effort between annual conferences in the United States and Global Ministries to support and strengthen the implementation of the strategies and programs of a particular National Plan.