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God's Mission, Our Response
God's Mission, Our Response: A Mission Handbook for Annual Conference Leaders

Image by: GBGM Administration

New York, NY, February 13, 2009--A new handbook for annual conference leaders is designed to promote mission collaboration within The United Methodist Church.

God's Mission, Our Response covers virtually every aspect of mission, including missionaries, evangelism and church development, mission education, relief and health, mission volunteers, funding for mission, ethnic/racial ministries, mission initiatives, and more.

The new handbook replaces and expands a manual prepared in previous years for Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries. It adds sections on the interrelationship of conference programs in the wide range of mission possibilities.

The handbook is "essentially a short course on how the General Board of Global Ministries and annual conferences interact in responding to God's mission in the work," according to an introduction by the Rev. Edward W. Paup, general secretary of the international mission agency that prepared the resource.

God's Mission, Our Response was introduced to conference leaders at a quadrennial training event in Jacksonville, Florida, in late January 2009. Print versions, in loose-leaf format, are available in limited number for specific conference leaders but the entire document can be read or downloaded online at Mission Education. The document was prepared by the Mission Communications Office of Global Ministries with the assistance of many agency staff members.

The handbook begins with a section on "God's Mission Today," which looks at the meaning and mandates of mission within The United Methodist Church and describes the ways in which parts of the church connect and collaborate as they engage in God's mission.

"Christians respond to and accept God's mission as their mission," the handbook states. "Mission starts with 'theology'—the knowledge of God. Disciples proclaim in word and deed the 'gospel'—good news—of the possibility of God's realm of justice, mercy, peace, and love."

A lengthy chapter covers education for mission at the conference and local church levels. "Mission in Action" deals with:

  • missionary recruitment and training
  • missionary support
  • mission partnerships and initiatives
  • mission volunteers
  • ethnic/language ministries
  • mission and song
  • relief and health
  • community-based ministry networks.

One subsection of the action section encourages coordination at the conference level with the mission work of United Methodist Women.

"Funding in Mission" gives detailed information on the sources of mission money: The Advance, the designated channel of mission giving, and the promoting of World Service, the basic benevolence fund of The United Methodist Church.

Program ideas for advancing the four new focus areas of the denomination are included: these are new church starts, leadership development, ministry with the poor, and global health.

Mission communications and resources round out the handbook, which includes the names and contact information of staff of the various program components of Global Ministries.

Conference leaders who need the handbook should call 212-870-3761 or email the Mission Communications Office at Global Ministries: Others are invited to utilize or download the contents online at Mission Education.


Date posted: Feb 13, 2009