Mission Is the Work of Faith:
A Message From the New Global Ministries General Secretary
Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ.
It is with humility and excitement that I assume the post of general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, the mission agency of The United Methodist Church. Humility reminds us that we serve a God who freely loves us, a God who in Jesus Christ gives us grace upon grace for redemption, restoration, and reconciliation; humility, too, because the Global Ministries directors have entrusted me with the welfare of a powerful instrument of grace, an organization that embodies the past, present, and future mission commitment of our church.
Yet, what an exciting opportunity: the chance to relate to and build partnerships with the strong streams of mission in our denomination and the Christian family at large; to promote the welfare of God's planet Earth; to work against poverty; to speak and act for peace; and to help carry, in the name of Christ, the banner of United Methodist mission.
Mission for Christians is the work of faith, the measure of our personal and collective discipleship, the action that follows our acceptance of God's grace and love by membership in Christ's church. Mission is evangelism and humanitarian service, church extension and the increase of justice. Mission is firmly rooted in Scripture:
The mission statement of The United Methodist Church and the first goal of Global Ministries are the same: To make disciples of Jesus Christ. The 2008 General Conference added a phrase suggested by the Council of Bishops, so that the statement reads: "To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." Such transformation is an intention reflected in Global Ministries' goals of developing churches and communities, alleviating suffering, and promoting peace and justice.
The transformation of the world is God's mission, and it becomes ours as we open ourselves to the fullness of God's grace, receive life from God's living Word in Christ, and are called by faith to participate in God's work.
In the immediate future, my priorities and commitments include:
Another commitment is to spend considerable time in the office in my early months, becoming better informed about systems and evaluating our operations and patterns. In order to do that and also tend to pressing international matters, I have invited Bishop Felton E. May, interim general secretary for the last nine months, to stay with us for six months as a consultant on Africa. He is eminently qualified, having chaired the General Conference-mandated Holistic Strategy on Africa Committee. Bishop May has been a competent and vigorous interim general secretary, and I am indebted to him for his diligence and skill.
Global Ministries is called to be a vibrant and dynamic agency, ready to act in this fast-paced world in ways that offer effective and efficient mission and ministry in the name of The United Methodist Church. By God's grace, this will happen.
The Rev. Edward W. Paup
Date posted: Sep 02, 2008