United Methodists invited to “Be. Go. Do.” and Change the World

Date Posted: 5/2/2011

Being disciples, going everywhere to make disciples and doing as the Lord commands, are the cornerstones of the United Methodist Church’s upcoming Change the World Day, and the spirit of Jesus’ Great Commission to the disciples.


“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you,” is the way Matthew records the Lord’s mandate. What the disciples are to “be, go and do,” is clear in this mission statement.


It’s also clear that the tasks are intertwined: one can’t “make” a disciple if they’re not a disciple, and if one is a disciple they are compelled to make more. The old adage “Each one reach one, each one teach one,” could have had its genesis in Jesus’ time.


On May 14-15, thousands of United Methodists worldwide will “Be. Go. Do.” as they live out the Great Commission through service projects on Change the World Day. While all community service efforts are encouraged, the focus of this year’s event is hunger. The following is a sampling of events happening around the Texas Annual Conference.


Aldersgate UMC College Station: Free garage sale – church giving away all items, including food.


Aldersgate UMC Santa Fe: Working with Habitat for Humanity of Dickinson.


Faith UMC Richmond: Building two wheelchair ramps, hosting tour of Helping Hands food bank and encouraging members to fast and pray; worship service and food bank collection, with offerings benefitting local outreach.


First UMC Conroe: Prayer tent and Vacation Bible School in the park, community health checks, distributing sack lunches and hygiene kits and more.


First UMC Fulshear: Collecting canned meat for Mexico.


First UMC Huntsville: Tilling and planting community garden; fasting and praying for the world’s hungry and youth participating in a “30-hour famine.”


First UMC Nederland: Free car wash and food.    


Grace UMC Palestine: Collecting fresh fruit and vegetables for the First Resource Center of Palestine.


It’s not too late to plan to serve others May 14-15. District Sending Ministries representatives may have suggestions for ministries needing assistance. (See sending ministries article in this edition or visit www.txcumc.org/sendingministries.


Additionally, United Methodist Communications has prepared resources to help church members act as “change agents for God,” including sermon starters, Bible studies and a Change Agent Commissioning Service. There are videos and graphics to help ministries promote their events at www.UMC.org and www.txcumc.org/changetheworld.


The Bible study focuses on three scriptures, including Acts 9:10-19. In the passage, God calls Ananias to restore sight to Saul. God has always used “mission” to transform the one who is sent and the one who is served. Ananias humbles himself to obey God’s command to heal a person who had persecuted his fellow Christians. Because of this, Saul is brought into the community of believers – made a disciple, so that he might make disciples.

God still calls people to be transformed and to transform the world, asserts the study’s author, Jeremy Steele, director of student ministry at Christ UMC in Mobile, Alabama.   


“God continues to call us over the static of television, chores and homework,” Steele wrote. “God calls us to love people we do not even like, to bring them into the community of faith and to claim them as our own. This difficult task begins with a simple answer: ‘Here I am.’”


And today, God is calling the denomination’s disciples to a disciple-making, people-loving weekend of service. To be among those who answer “Here I am,” visit www.umc.org and register your church’s event or view a list of projects with which you could partner.


The first Change the World weekend occurred April 24-25, 2010. More than 100,000 people from over 1,000 churches worldwide participated. See photos and read about the results at www.UMC.org/ChangeTheWorld.