It’s 1971 and the World Methodist Council has decided to proclaim its belief that “preaching the gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ are the supreme business of the Church.” With that commitment, World Methodist Evangelism was born.
Fast forward to 2020 and WME is still committed to preaching the gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ by equipping people all over the world to show and share the love of Jesus.
Having grown out of the work of the World Methodist Council (WMC), WME continues to collaborate and partner with the WMC as an affiliate member, working within and beyond the network of 80 Methodist, Wesleyan, and related Uniting and United Churches that make up the global Wesleyan Methodist family. What a blessing it is to be a connection point for the over 80 million Christ followers in 138 countries that make up this amazing family!
Our world has seen many changes since 1971 and WME has been on the forefront of those changes. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, we were able to come alongside the people of Eastern Europe as they discovered and rediscovered faith in Jesus Christ. Through our commitment to multiplication, new churches were started in Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. WME’s commitment to cultivating leaders led us to send a missionary to Estonia for the sole purpose of founding a seminary. That seminary – the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary – has now been training Christian leaders for over 25 years. The commitment to multiplication and the cultivation of leaders continues in a variety of ways such as our newest collaboration with the Methodist Church of Cuba for church planting and the strengthening of their seminary.
In the early 1980’s WME began gathering young adults from all over the world to deepen faith and strengthen community. Since 1980, these International Christian Youth Conferences on Evangelism (rebranded Metanoia to emphasize the importance of transformation) have impacted the lives of over 6,650 young adults. Many current leaders across the global Methodist Wesleyan family can point to their experience at Metanoia/ICYCE as a turning point on their journey of faith. Our next Metanoia global gatherings will be in Sweden in August 2021 and in South Africa in 2023. Learn more about Metanoia HERE. Have you ever attended an ICYCE or Metanoia event? We’d love to hear from you! Email us your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1996 WME has been equipping young clergy and their spouses for evangelism through the Order of the FLAME (Faithful Leaders As Mission Evangelists). Through this ethnically and culturally diverse covenant community, young leaders come to see themselves not simply as pastors to their congregations, but as mission evangelists to their entire communities. Over 2500 young leaders have been impacted through this ministry and we’re excited to be able to expand it this year by offering FLAME 2.0 – a mentoring program for a select cohort of young clergy that will launch later this spring.
Throughout our time as a committee of the World Methodist Council and now in our current work as a Council affiliate and autonomous, 501(c)3 organization, WME has been blessed to witness the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. God continues to place new opportunities before us and blesses us with new missional and collaborative relationships for the advancement of the gospel. We are grateful to everyone who has come alongside us for this great work!