JULY 7 – Fourth Sunday After Pentecost-WSF (United Methodist Men)

A MOMENT FOR MISSION

"[Jesus] said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" — Luke 10:2, NRSV

Through our congregation's support of the World Service Fund, we nurture the ministries of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. "United Methodist Men exists to declare the centrality of Christ in every man's life. Men's ministry leads to the spiritual growth of men and effective discipleship. This purpose is served as men are called to model the servant leadership of Jesus Christ." (The Book of Discipline 2016, Par. 2302.1)

Jim Boesch, a deployed staff member of the commission, wrote, "Jesus' first charge to his 12 hand-picked disciples was to 'make disciples of all nations.' His first directive was, 'Come follow me.'
 
"We work hard at doing church on Sundays and Wednesday nights," Boesch added. "We support missional outreach in our own communities and around the world. All of this is done for good purposes. But are we becoming the disciples God calls us to be? Are we engaged in service to God's kingdom?"
 
Lasting transformation, Boesch noted, can only be sustained by following the same disciplines that Jesus practiced:

  • Abide in God's unconditional love with confidence grounded in trust.
  • Practice solitude. Spend time alone with God.          
  • Experience prayer. Speak with God.          
  • Apply Scripture. Prepare for challenges. 
  • Maintain supportive relationships and share vulnerabilities.

"We are created to change the world," Boesch says. "Let's be change agents who reflect God's love and grace." Thanks to the World Service Fund, men across the connection are invited and equipped to do exactly that!

— Adapted from "Follow First," United Methodist Men website, June 2019

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Loving God, indeed, the harvest is plentiful, the laborers few. Thank you for United Methodist Men, who go willingly into your world to become change agents. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Creator and Architect of the Universe, the gifts we bring to your altar this day are but a small part of the inheritance you have provided us. Your steadfast love has never failed us, yet too quickly we forget; we worry about scarcity; we fret about uncertain times and claim our trust is in you, but our living and giving often tell a different story. Remind us, Lord, of our inheritance; help us to grow in our trust of you and your providence and your wisdom in knowing what we really need for abundant life. In  Christ, we pray. Amen. (2 Kings 5:1-14)

NEWSLETTER NUGGET
I recall times I have gone to orchards to pick fruit. We harvested the fruit on the lower branches and the ground; however, we never reached the fruit near the treetops.
 
"If someone doesn't pick the fruit from the treetops, I will lose a great deal of the crop," said a farmer. "People seem OK with grabbing the easy fruit, but they leave the rest to spoil."
 
That leads me to ask, "As leaders of United Methodist Men, are we guilty of just trying to reach known churches, while leaving the unfamiliar and more difficult-to-reach churches untouched?"
 
Currently, 90 percent of our congregations have no chartered men's ministry. Most are probably looking for ways to connect with men in their churches and communities, but they don't know where to begin.
 
Jesus reminded his disciples, "The fields are ripe."  

Through your congregation's support of the World Service Fund, the General Commission on United Methodist Men provides resources that challenge men to become disciples. Thank you!

— Adapted from "The Fields Are Ripe for Harvest," the Rev. Rick Vance, United Methodist Men website, June 2019