An effective leader will expand the congregation’s awareness of issues related to peace with justice, environmental survival, and human welfare, especially connecting these issues with Jesus’ example in the gospel stories. The congregation will have a deeper understanding of these issues and will actively engage in the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Job
- This ministry coordinator benefits from having one or more of these spiritual gifts: prophecy, servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), leadership, compassion, wisdom, administration, and helping.
- This person shows evidence of passion for engaging the church with the world in a Christian and Wesleyan manner.
- This leader needs strong communication skills and the ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages.
- This leader shows interest in the quality of life of people in the congregation and community, especially displaced and marginalized people.
- This leader should show evidence of creatively and compassionately addressing concerns and mobilizing people to action.
Responsibilities of the Position
- The church and society leader will coordinate the planning and implementation of opportunities for education and action related to the quality of life for people in the congregation and community. Ministry will be developed in alignment with the theological and biblical foundations for ministry for the transformation of the world.
- This leader will provide opportunities for people in the congregation and community to learn about issues of social justice, prison ministry, and ethical living in the workplace.
- This person will lead the congregation in study and awareness of the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church and will encourage frequent use of the Social Creed in congregational life.
- This person will lead the congregation in celebration of the annual Peace with Justice Sunday and other efforts to connect the church and culture. Many churches are launching efforts for sustaining resources through recycling programs and use of fair trade products.
- This leader will link with organizations, people, and resources in and beyond the congregation that are concerned with faith and living.
- The church and society leader is accountable to the charge conference through the church council.
- Learn from people in your congregation, in the community, and in other congregations who have interests similar to yours. Assess the current programs in your congregation and community and look for gaps that your congregation might fill with new or additional offerings.
- Talk with your pastor and others to understand their hopes for the congregation toward fulfilling the mission of the church and for your leadership role with church and society.
- Share the ministry with others by building a team of people in the church or community who have passion for issues of church and society and service to the community and world.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor, people in your congregation, the community, and other congregations who share your interests, and district and conference leaders. Be alert to community groups committed to learning about issues that have an impact on the quality of life, to community organizing, and to advocacy for underrepresented or marginalized people.
- General Board of Church and Society, umc-gbcs.org, 202-488-5600.
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: infoserv.umc.org.
Web and Print Resources
- 52 Ways to Create an AIDS-free World by Donald E. Messer (Upper Room Books, 2009)
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- Congregational Tool Box for Prison Ministry by Betsey Heavner (Discipleship Resources)
- Faith and Facts Cards (http://store.umc-gbcs.org), two-sided study cards with biblical references, UM Social Principles and resolutions, facts about the issue, and steps to make a difference
- General Board of Church and Society, umc-gbcs.org, 202-488-5600
- General Board of Church and Society Facebook page, www.facebook.com/gbcsumc
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Church and Society (Cokesbury, 2016)
- How Do We Pray When We Are Divided? pdf by Stephen V. Doughty (www.upper room.org/bookstore)
- Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.org
- Justice in Everyday Life: A Look at the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church by Neal Christie (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2015)
- Pocket Guide to Prayer by Steve Harper (Upper Room Books, 2012)
- Prayers for Hard Times: Words of Faith in a Financial Crisis (Upper Room Books, 2009)
- Social Principles of The United Methodist Church (United Methodist Publishing House, 2017))
- Sojourners, sojo.net