Mission During Covid-19 - 2020: Back to the Basics

June 09, 2020

By Caroline Wood, Director of Mission Engagement and Connectional Ministries

The foundational principles of mission and ministry have not changed during this pandemic. Some of the beliefs I hold dear, I offer for your consideration:
  • Relationships at the center. It is who we are as United Methodists. Relational ministry is our niche. It is what we are known for.
  • Walking with over the long haul is who we are. Long after the disaster is forgotten, United Methodist caseworkers are still visiting families and individuals to walk with them while they put their lives back together. We stick around.
  • Ministry with rather than ministry to is incarnational. Jesus welcomed the disciples into ministry with him. When we minister with rather than to, we recognize the sacred worth in each individual and honor the presence of the Holy in them. We set aside our need to set the priorities. Instead we ask how we can come on a journey with, walking beside, not in front.
  • Mutuality is receiving as well as giving. One of the greatest gifts we can give is space to accept what others have to offer. We recognize the gifts in others and make space to receive.
  • Transformational partnerships are those in which we learn from each other. We can learn a great deal from those we minister with by putting aside our preconceived ideas and open ourselves to shared learning.
  • Being present and in prayer is the most important thing we can do for someone. Ministry of presence is the secret sauce. When we are present with others, the Holy Spirit can use us in ways we never thought possible. 
For me these are the non-negotiables of mission. As you reach out to others during this uncertain time, I pray the connection is meaningful, the conversation vibrant and that you experience God’s presence in ways that feed your soul.

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