About UMC Missions & UMVIM

The United Methodist Church believes that all people and areas of the church have a role in furthering the mission God has given us. The General Board of Global Ministries is the agency of the United Methodist Church that resources and supports the church (regional bodies, annual conferences, missionary conferences, local congregations, and individuals) as we live out the varieties of calls to mission that come from following Jesus. A major responsibility of Global Ministries is to connect the various parts of the Church as United Methodists engage in global mission. The aim of Global Ministries is to be a biblically rooted, historically     informed, and organizationally flexible means of spreading the good news.  See what teams are forming now in Western PA!                                          

Sometimes the goal and the avenue of our missional outreach encompasses one or all of these biblically-commanded acts.

Four Mission Goals:

  1. Make disciples of Jesus Christ Matthew 28:19
  2. Strengthen, develop, and renew Christian congregations and communities Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4
  3. Alleviate human suffering  Micah 6:8, Matthew 25:31-45, James 3:17
  4. Seek justice, freedom, and peace Micah 6:8, Psalm 82, Luke 4:18, 1 Peter 3:11


A Wesleyan Theology of Mission

The Mission Theology statement guides our United Methodist participation in the Missio Dei ('mission of God' in Latin.)  The statement frames Global Ministries’ role within the denominational mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The transforming power belongs to God, and Global Ministries is in mission to witness to what God has done and is doing, and to learn from what God is doing in every land where disciples gather in the name of Jesus Christ.

Read the Theology of Mission.

Read Connect to Global Mission, a brochure that provides an overview of the activities and programs of Global Ministries brochure called Connect to Global Mission.

Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM)

United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) is a grassroots movement within The United Methodist Church designed to provide an official channel whereby Christians, both lay and clergy, can offer their skills and talents for Christian service locally, regionally, and around the world for short term outreach projects or purposes.

The UMVIM network offers guidance, organization, training, and support for more than 125,000 volunteers serving others by

  • ministries with the poor
  • supporting Bible study, Bible School for children,
  • building churches
  • assisting in disaster response
  • community health and medical missions
  • community or school repairs
  • education and leadership development
  • ministries of witness and evangelism

Most volunteers serve at their own expense although many engage in fundraising efforts supported by local congregations. Volunteers serve with a team (typically 5-16 persons) or as an individual.  Volunteers need to be in relatively good health, complete an application form, be willing to pay his/her own way or help to raise team funds, and agree to attend team sessions conducted by the team leader prior to departure.

The UMVIM movement began in 1976 and is organized by jurisdiction. Global Ministries networks with the jurisdictional UMVIM offices, which in turn coordinate with annual conference offices.  Check out opportunities where you could volunteer to serve!

Values & Principles of Service


"the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" Galatians 5:22  

Whatever our named purpose or task might be as we engage in serving God and others, the primary goal is always to share the love of Christ with God's people. This means that our underlying purpose is to show love by respecting others, showing kindness, patience, and faith in all circumstances (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Philippians 4.) Since we participate in the work that is of God, for God, and completed by God, we strive to rely on the Holy Spirit and to allow the fruit of the Spirit to be the greatest content of our work.  


"For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened"
Luke 11:10

The nature of service and the value of relationship leads the United Methodist Church to one our cornerstone principles: We only go where we are invited. We offer our service in response to specific invitations. These may come in the form of cries for help in the midst of disaster and distress, suggestions of partnership between government, international or local organizations, or the request of a local UMC congregation or body.


"The one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion" Philippians 1:6
"For God has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5
We know that we may not see fruit right away and that addressing the hurts and needs of this world is not a quick fix. When a United Methodist presence is established in an area of the world or of ministry, we are often in place for the long haul.  It may not be the same individuals but as the body of the United Methodist Church, our goals is to establish systems of partnerships, initiatives, and networks that allow for continued work on a long-term development and mutually agreed-upon goals.

Financial Integrity

"Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received." 1 Peter 4:10

We often recognize the different roles involved in mission by saying that some people can be "players, prayers, and payers." Financial support is necessary for most forms of outreach and we seek to honor the generosity of those who give by making sure that we are accountable for how they are used.  This means that gifts through our Advance system of giving are used 100% for the ministry or project for which it is given. This is possible because our regular church offerings support the financial systems, especially through our annual "One Great Hour of Sharing."  

If a group has an Advance number - an idenitfying number and account - it meets our missional guidelines and has agreed to abide by our principles of financial management and stewardship. If a group is found to be in violation of this agreement, there is a system of recourse.  For this and other fiscal and safety reasons, we ask that all groups use the church's financial systems  Learn more about The Advance.

"Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." 1 Corinthians 4:2


"Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially those in the family of faith."  Galatians 6:10

Wherever it best serves the goals of our mission, witnesses to Christ and holds to the above values, we encourage partner with other groups and organizations, ecuemnical, faith-based or secular. Examples of fruitful partnerships include:


  • *WorldVision
  • *Second Harvest Food Banks of NW PA,
  • *Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),
  • *Red Cross, Blue Crescent, etc.
  • *Habitat for Humanity
  • *Community service groups such as Kiwanis, Lions Club,
  • *Scouting organizations.  
  • Local schools