The Mission Initiative program in Asia began in the early 1990’s with the work in Cambodia. Since then, Southeast Asia has become one of the fastest growing regions of United Methodism ever witnessed. With efforts through the Mission Initiative program, Global Ministries has developed missions in the following five countries: Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia and Thailand. Since the inception of the Mission Initiatives program in Asia, more than 600 new churches have been developed in these five countries. Currently, there are 21 missionaries serving in the Mission Initiatives throughout Asia.
The purpose of the Mission Initiatives program is to develop UM missions in regions where there is little to no Methodist Church presence. For this reason, we have been addressing the implementation of mission work in the above five countries, which include faith community development, program development and financial support.
Bishop Scott Jones and the Texas Conference has graciously agreed to host the gathering to showcase all five Mission Initiatives in one place; the “Asia Mission Consultation” will be a venue to share our vision for Asia Mission Initiative. The attendees would include local church and conference leaders engaged in Asian Mission Initiatives and missionaries from the mission initiatives. It will include U. S. leaders who are not currently engaged but who would like to be a part.
The Asia Mission Consultation will bring together church leaders (bishops, conference staff, BOM members, local church leaders) from at least five different annual conferences. The purpose of the event is to gather key leaders related to each of the five mission initiatives to learn about what is currently happening and how we might support for these initiatives in the future.
Questions the meeting would answer could include but are not limited to the following:
*What are the critical goals of the Mission Initiatives in Asia?
*Who are the leaders in Asia?
*Who are the leaders in the US?
* How do we build sustainable partnership relationships?
* How can we build excitement for the Local Church for Mission Partnerships?
* What are ways to help local leaders and missionaries feel they are not alone?
* What projects are making a difference and how?
* What innovations in partnership are making a difference?
* How can we expand partnership relationships with other congregations in the US?
* How do we partner to build sustainable capacity in local Mission Initiatives?
* How do Mission Initiatives become Provisional Conferences?
* What are next steps?
This event will provide learning opportunities for participants in the areas below:
- Mission Theology
- Engaging local churches to missions
- Developing lay leadership in host countries
- Smart goals for mission
- Building sustainability
- How to move forward