We will encourage partnerships with like-minded ministries. These mutually beneficial relationships give us unified voice on social and spiritual issues, as well as more focused skills to fulfill our mission and vision.
By David Kendall
Free Methodists Partner
Our mission is to love God and people, and to make disciples of Jesus who will, in turn, love God and people and make disciples. Our vision is to bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people who multiply disciples, leaders, groups and churches. Our conviction is that accomplishing our mission and fulfilling our vision will require us to partner with other people and groups, both among and beyond the Free Methodist Church. Let me tell you why.
From the very beginning, we see God partnering. God reveals His plan to care for the world and, in time, to redeem the world by partnering with human beings. He created all things very good and then committed it into the care of the people made in His image. Likewise, even after human rebellion brought ruin to the world, God plans to restore creation and to do it through a people. We imitate God, in whose image we have been made, when we seek to join with others in pursuit of a kingdom-of-God agenda.
The mission God pursues through us is too large for us or any other group alone. It’s too large in a variety of ways. We seek to love God and love people and make disciples. This includes all people. That’s way too many for us alone, but not for all of God’s people together. To do all that love would do, to respond fully to all the ways people are hurting and in need, is a task so huge that only God-connected partnerships will be sufficient.
Think about your city and think about our world. God cares about all of it and wants to address all that’s wrong. If we’re to have a part in this great work, only as we join others will the mission move toward accomplishment. How can God’s grace bring transformation to a major urban area through God’s people and others who desire what God wants?
Only if somehow many people and groups can work together for what is good, as God defines the good.
We believe that God wants to bring wholeness to the world and its people. Think of all the ways in which people experience brokenness, all the ways things just don’t work well, or at all. How can anything really be done about such massive and wide-scale ruin? God could put us together with others who do what we can’t and who don’t do what we can, so that wholeness begins to happen.
So we gladly join hands with others — people and groups — who seek the common good as we do, as God does, who want to seek and work for the well-being of people everywhere, who enter into the pain of the hurting, the need of the deprived, and offer what they have, trusting that God makes it work way beyond what anyone might expect. We seek to get into a position to partner with God and others to witness to God’s best for all, and to assist as many as we can to find God’s best through Jesus our Lord.
Free Methodists care about human trafficking, the plight of the poor and the corrupt systems that keep them poor, the disasters caused by deforestation around the world, the orphans, the widows and the abandoned, the people who must live as refugees, the disaster stricken, those without clean water, and lots of other symptoms of ruin in our world. We care enough about these things that we organize and support agencies that address these challenges such as Set Free Movement, Eden Reforestation, Clear Blue, International Child Care Care Ministries, Heavenly Treasures, a number of excellent social service agencies, current and future urban initiatives, orphan and widow care around the world, and many others.
Because so much of the ruin is systemic and deeply ingrained in the status quo, we celebrate our Free Methodist educational institutions whose mission is to educate students from a biblical worldview to become change agents in their world as servants of Christ.
Because we are just one branch of the worldwide family of Christ, we seek to partner with the World Methodist Council, the National Association of Evangelicals and the newly formed Global Wesleyan Alliance, so that we can speak and act in concert with others who share our mission and vision.
We partner because the mission and vision are too big for any one group or even all interested groups together. The mission and vision are God-sized, and their accomplishment requires God to work through and among all willing partners to do what only God can do. Thus, whatever good is done, in the end, will not be a human achievement, but a mighty act of God, making good once again what God created and dearly loves.
Steve Fitch was serving as a Free Methodist missionary when he founded Eden Reforestation Projects that has planted more than 63 million trees since 2005.
“The mission of Eden Reforestation Projects is really straightforward. We are committed to alleviating extreme poverty and oppression associated with environmental destruction,” Fitch said. “We employ desperately poor people to heal their own environment.”
Imagine the possibilities! What would happen if we listened to the Spirit of God? What doors would open? What could happen in our world and lives if we sought to live by faith and not fear? Could you change a whole village with the help of the Spirit?
Discussion: What are ways you or your local church are partnering with others?
We will be working with the local UM, Lutheran, and Presbyterian Churches to do a day of service together in the name of Christ in lieu of our normal worship services.
Talking about doing classes with other churches.
The fish don’t go looking for the fisherman.