The Global Ministries Board of the United Methodist Church supports mission activity all over the world. Its purpose is to equip and transform people and places for God's mission. It has written what it calls a “Theology of Mission” that explains how it lives out Mission Dei (or ‘the sending of God’). It proclaims these 7 tenets:
- God’s Mission from Creation to Completion: God’s Mission reclaims the life of all creatures and redeems all creation for God’s intended purpose. Holy Scriptures bear witness to mission that begins with God, belongs to God, and will be fulfilled by God at the end of time.
- The Self-Emptying Life of Jesus the Christ in Service to the Least and the Last: In response to God’s Mission for him, Jesus himself went out in servanthood for all humanity and emptied himself of divine privilege, assuming the trials and risks of human limitation..
- The Church as a Community of Servanthood in Mission: The Church is one sign of God’s presence in the world and of God’s intention for creation. In response to God’s call and the leading of the Holy Spirit, women and men, young and old, of all nations, stations, and races, and in all times and places, unite as the living body of Christ to join God’s mission of redemption, bearing witness to God’s presence in the world.
- Grace at Work Everywhere: This grace calls us to repentance, and to active faith and good works in Christ. Active faith participates in the perfecting and fulfilling grace of God, which claims and implements the promises of God to deliver exploited persons and oppressed peoples, to restore the sanctity and integrity of God’s creation, and to reconcile division in the households of faith and among the peoples and nations of the earth as all of creation groans for redemption.
- Transformative Witness: By representing the revelation of God in Christ in word and deed, the Church remains faithful both to the Great Commandment that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves; and to the Great Commission that we make disciples of all nations.
- God’s Prior Presence, Our Current Response: God’s light shines in every corner of the earth, and God’s mission extends to all creation. Because God’s image is present in every human being throughout the world, mission partnership embraces witness in all cultures, traditions, political arrangements, economic structures, and languages.
- The Spirit’s Surprising Activity: The Spirit is always moving to sweep the Church into a new mission age. With openness and gratitude, we await the leading of the Spirit in ways not yet seen as God continues to work God’s purposes out in our own day in a new way.
This summer Fairlington sent 25 missionaries out to West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Dakota in mission. Serving others is the core of our mission as church and is deeply embedded in the DNA of Fairlington. Mission is so powerful because it always starts with God embodying the grace and love of Jesus Christ in the world. If mission is central to our identity, then all of us are missionaries, modeled on God as Missionary.
Never considerd yourself a missionary? Then come this Sunday, maybe God has a calling for you.