Q&A: United Methodist Men
Interview with Gilbert C. Hanke, top executive
Note: This interview was part of a 2012 series conducted by United Methodist News Service offering information to help readers better understand how the church works. UMNS asked the top executives of each agency to answer five questions about their agency's role in the church.
What is your agency’s primary mission? How do you accomplish this in the most effective manner?
Gilbert C. Hanke
We train and provide resources for local churches, districts and annual conferences to have a sustained, all-inclusive ministry to, for and through men that reproduces Wesleyan disciples and promotes scouting as a ministry of the church within their community. We provide training and materials electronically, but we also offer presentations, workshops and participation at conference, district and local church events.
Name at least one exciting thing in which your agency has been involved during the current quadrennium. How does it relate to the Four Areas of Focus?
We have trained and certified 32 men’s ministry specialists and 143 scouting ministry specialists to work with local churches and districts. These are principled Christian leaders, both lay and clergy.
How does the average United Methodist pastor or member benefit from your agency’s work? Social advocacy? Curriculum? Scholarships? Please give a concrete example, ideally quoting a testimonial from someone outside of your agency.
We provide practical proven assistance and materials that are consistent with United Methodist theology. Our lead staff and volunteers speak from their current and past experiences in their local churches; they continue to do this ministry in their position and in their local church.
“The Commission on United Methodist Men,” said Steve Nailor, a lay member of the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference, “is critical to our local, district and conference units through the development of materials in concert with our local churches. This gives the local church opportunities to help develop and provide input to what works and what does not. The commission is the one place these church units go for help and information being used by other churches, districts and conferences. I have been to many denominations that do not have the connection our church has. I believe if our church is to survive and grow, United Methodist Men will play a large role in that effort.”
Learn more: Website of United Methodist Men.