New Church Starts Worldwide Featured in Live, Interactive Webcast

Date Posted: 3/29/2011

A live, interactive webcast on April 12 will put the spotlight on United Methodist evangelism and new church development in more than a dozen countries around the world.

The broadcast will originate from the semi-annual meeting of the directors of the General Board of Global Ministries, the denomination's mission agency, meeting in Stamford, Connecticut. The theme is "Church Planting Worldwide." Online viewers can participate via social network such as Facebook and Twitter.

The site of Global Ministries' webcasts is The April 12 event begins at 8:45 a.m. EDT and concludes at 9.45 a.m.

400 New Congregations

The program will open with a short video clip, followed by a fast-paced "talk-show" format of onsite interviews, live electronic links to sites around the globe, and special music. It will illustrate United Methodist new congregational development in Mission Initiatives spread across Africa, Asia, Central America, and Eastern Europe/Eurasia.

"Global Ministries is aggressively engaged in developing 400 new congregations outside the United States in a four-year period beginning at the start of 2009, and we are well over halfway there," said Thomas Kemper, chief executive of the mission agency. "We want to share this good news with the United Methodist people and with the world at large. We want to share the voices and images of the church as it grows in grace, size, and community service in many cultures."

Mission Initiatives are newly or recently launched mission outreach in areas in which United Methodist work did not previously exist or was disrupted in the past by political factors. These initiatives involve evangelism, church growth, and social ministries.

The webcast will be preceded in Stamford by worship, with a meditation by Rev. Joseph Bishman, superintendent of the Shawnee District of the West Ohio Annual (regional) Conference of the church. Bishman is actively involved in the Vietnam Initiatives. His district raised more than $300,000 toward a United Methodist Church Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Such a facility, now in operation, is an initial requirement for a church to apply for legal recognition in Vietnam.

Global Visits

The broadcast will visit Mission Initiative sites in Cameroon, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Russia, and Honduras. Several missionaries will be on camera. There will also be interviews from Stamford with staff and directors covering an additional ten countries.

Other interviews will bring the Volunteers in Mission movement into the picture and illustrate mission partnerships that enhance new church development. Two links will be with clergy and laity from Tennessee and Texas engaged in significant mission partnerships.

Attention will be drawn to the 400 Fund, through which individuals, congregations, and other church units can help support new church starts through Global Ministries.

Music and songs linked to many of the initiatives will be provided by the Global Praise department of Global Ministries, led by Jorge Lockward.


The webcast is being organized by the Global Ministries' In Mission Together Office staffed by the Rev. Patrick Friday.

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