Making a Difference, Going into our community, Loving our Neighbors
Being Missional is at the heart of our reinvigorated church life. Being Missional becomes the how, where and when we as followers of Jesus Christ share the message and experience of God’s redeeming love offered to all, in ways that take us beyond the walls of our Faith Community. Being Missional is when the joy of our faith propels us into action.
We believe that as our hearts and souls are restored and nourished through God’s unconditional and never changing Love and Grace, that there begins to grow from within our own hearts, a desire to respond to what God has done and is doing in our own lives to such an extent that we desire to share this same sense of joy, hope and peace with others in hopes that they too discover what God intended for their life.
This inner desire grows into an outward expression of Love of our Neighbors and a commitment to reach out to and serve others. This outward expression becomes a core value that we share together and which is lived out and expressed through our daily lives. Together, as the body of Christ through this Faith Community, we become active participants in God’s restorative mission through which we Change Lives, Transform our Community and Renew a right spirit within ourselves and others.
At Guthrie First United Methodist, we are just beginning to discover the many ways in which we can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and community. Where there are people with a passion to serve, we seek to empower them to ignite that passion into a fire storm of service and mission to the glory of God. We believe the Gospel calls to engage in Good Works because of God’s forgiveness and Grace that has already been poured out upon our imperfect selves.
We seek to take a Holistic Approach to Service or Mission (being Missional). Jesus not only touched individuals by meeting their physical needs, he sought to connect and restore their spiritual health. He also challenged the status quo in its view of women, wealth, power, leadership and violence.
We recognize that people are created with minds, bodies and souls. As such we are created to be in community with others in ways that lift each other up and bring out the best in one another. Christ calls us to share the “whole” gospel for the “whole” person with the “whole” church and the “whole” community. We seek to meet both spiritual and physical needs throughout our church and our community.
Question: “What is Missions and what is it to be Missional?”
Answer: To be Missional, the intentional choice to participate in the Mission of God “Missio Dei”. Through our faith, we are motivated (lead by our heart) to be active in God’s Mission.
Question: “What is God’s Mission?”
Answer: To restore a rightful relationship with his creation – his children. (Gen 1:31). This includes the task of inspiring people to work with the materials and resources and people that God has made available to us at this time. Through Jesus Christ, God gives people the grace to return to him. He heals the world’s brokenness, and he opens the way to fully restore his original intent for the world. Both the creation of the world and its redemption by God’s grace are therefore the mission of God.
Question: “How do we participate in God’s Mission?”
Answer: Christians participate in the mission of God through every activity of life that expresses God’s creativity, sustains God’s creation, and cooperates with God’s redemption. The Faith Community—is the one body exclusively dedicated to advancing the mission of God, so all Christians are part of the Faith Community. As a Faith Community, we recognize that we exist for the benefit of others and not our selves (Bishop NT Niles).
Through the collective work of a Faith Community, using the various gifts and talents of our members, we are able to advance the mission of God through a wide variety of activities. These activities include the recognition that through our members, the Faith Community comes into contact with others through the course of every day life in our community and work place.
We Are Engaged or Developing Missional Programs In These Focus Areas:
A. Whole Person Health Advocacy (Mind, Body and Spirit)
This is a faith driven mission that places emphasis on the “Whole Person”, to include mind, body and the spirit.
- Health Literacy
- Making Healthy Life Choices
- Weight Loss
- Senior Care Medical Advocacy
- Community Health Networking
B. Personal Character Ministry
Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream that… one day, we will live in a nation where the people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (paraphrased) Character is a person’s essential qualities that a person should posses. Character is that which defines an individuals true nature.
Our ministry is focused on helping people discover essential character qualities, development them as part of their life and put them into a daily practice regardless if at home, at work or elsewhere. Some of the Focus areas include:
- Financial Management
- Expanding Horizons (Job and Career support)
- Compassion – Loving others
- Courage and Tolerance
- Self-Control & Self-Discipline
- Personal Responsibility
- Courtesy and Respect for Others.
- Conflict Management
- Being an engaged Citizen
C. Children & Family
- CASA – Child Advocacy Support
- Foster Care Support Teams
- Single Mothers
D. Literacy Ministry
Reaching out into our community, supporting our public school and meeting the needs of adults and children in the spirit of demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ in hopes of transforming lives, from the individual student to positively impacting the life trajectory of the entire family.
- Student and Family Support
- Teacher and School Advocacy
- Tutoring Children and Youth
E. Homeless Ministry
Seeking ways to help the Homeless live with dignity, sleep in safety, eat healthy and have clean, dry, and secured shelter. We are looking for programs, church’s and individuals we can partner with that can change the shape of the homeless situation in Guthrie.
God’s Mission is not “primarily” about getting people more involved in what church is doing but rather God calls to the faithful (through the church), to become more involved in what God is doing in the world. Therefore, being Missional is both a responsive to our spiritual growth and the principle reason for taking action in hopes of making the difference in the lives of others, functioning as a partner in God’s work where ever we are, doing whatever we can, with the resources and people God has sent us.