Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Matthew 16:15
Why does the church exist? According to Matthew’s Gospel, the risen Christ made it clear: “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” (28:19-20).
Based on this “Great Commission,” our United Methodist Church has stated its purpose: “The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs”
The United Methodist faith is deeply rooted in the Scripture and in the basic beliefs of all Christians. Out of that theology and the faith have grown some specific actions that mark United Methodists as Christians engaged in ministry to the world. The early members of the groups that eventually became The United Methodist Church
- took strong stands on issues such as slavery, smuggling, and humane treatment of prisoners;
- established institutions for higher learning;
- started hospitals and shelters for children and the elderly;
- founded Goodwill Industries in 1902;
- became actively involved in efforts for world peace;
- adopted a Social Creed and Social Principles to guide them as they relate to God’s world and God’s people;
- participated with other religious groups in ecumenical efforts to be in mission.
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