The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church

Mission-field engagement: A Wesleyan thing to do

By Rev. David Farley, Director of Justice & Compassion Ministries

In leading our local churches, let us never lose the spirit of adventure in the way John Wesley saw mission-field engagement in difficult times such as ours today.  Not only was Wesley a supporter of the famous prison reformer, John Howard, and of the anti-slavery activist, William Wilberforce, Wesley’s writings included plans on providing employment for the unemployed, medical care for the ill, and even micro-loans to start small collective businesses.

Key Insight: Our Wesleyan heritage of social holiness uniquely enables us to bring together persons experiencing social marginalization who seek communities of faith-based solidarity and empowerment with a new generation of faith-based activists who seek missional communities of spiritual support, justice, compassion, and joy.  We can do this through our a) “Liberal Protestant” commitment to Biblically rooted social justice and embrace of diversity, b) “Evangelical” commitment to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, as well as our c) “Catholic” emphasis on a religious life nourished by sacramental worship and spiritual disciplines.

Action Step #1: Schedule with me (dfarley@calpacumc.org) the next Mission-field Engagement Strategy Session for your local church and/or mission area to map out concrete initiatives with the community as well as training on implementation.

Action Step #2: Connect with the “See All The People” (seeallthepeople.org) resources from Discipleship Ministries in building relationships with the community.

Action Step #3: Share your local church’s mission-field engagement story with the General Board of Church and Society’s new website so that the whole Connection might be blessed by God’s work in and through your local church.”