New Leader, New ideas

Greg Arnold is the new top executive for United Methodist Men in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.
Greg Arnold is the new top executive for United Methodist Men in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.
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There’s a construction site across the street from the offices of United Methodist Men on Nashville’s Music Row, and it’s not unusual for blasting to interrupt the work day.

Your support of the World Service Fund apportionment supports program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church.

The city’s real estate market is booming, but Greg Arnold, the new leader of United Methodist Men, said he is keeping his options open regarding the future home of the agency dedicated to men’s ministry.

“Let’s see what happens,” Arnold said. “From a business perspective, the value of this property is appreciating faster … than it would be if we were to sell it and take the money and put it into some other investment account.”

On the other hand, if Arnold’s vision to expand the reach of the agency comes to fruition, the office could well be too small in as soon as 18 months.

“When this agency was formed, there was a commitment that it would be self-sufficient out of the gate,” Arnold said. “That didn't happen, and it hasn't happened for 25-26 years. However, the potential is there.”

The way Arnold sees it, every one of the millions of men in the denomination needs to be served, if possible. Of the more than 32,000 United Methodist churches in the U.S., only about 3,500 pay $85 annually for a UMM charter, he said.

“So what are we doing to serve every single one of those souls?” he said. “If we can make that happen, then there's not a building that can contain us.”

His strategy is to offer United Methodist men escape from isolation by creating communities they wish to join.

  1. Serving every local United Methodist church with credible, high-quality resources that help them reach every member of their community. Introducing a new rebranded set of modern resources to effectively reach all generations, to include new training programs, a credentialing program for men’s ministry specialists and more.
  2. Launching a dedicated small group ministry app with topics and content relevant to the challenges of today’s men. This app also could be used by churches as their men’s ministry program.
  3. Bringing the Live Bold app, which Arnold has already developed and successfully marketed as a resource for Christian men, under the United Methodist Men umbrella.
  4. Redefining and tightening the relationship between men's ministry and Scouting, after lawsuits charging abuse are settled. The United Methodist Church has already pledged $30 million toward a national settlement in the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.
  5. Shifting organizationally to better align stakeholders and partners with the mission to equip every connected man and youth to become effective disciples.
  6. Providing better marketing of the existing charters-subscription option to local churches. The charters-subscriptions include basic resources on how to start, grow and sustain effective men’s ministry in the local church. These connected churches have access to United Methodist Men staff-led online training and a wide variety of activities of other United Methodist agencies and ecumenical organizations.
  7. Making newly developed resources available to churches outside of The United Methodist Church, for a fee.

Arnold terms his new position as “a burning call” rather than a job.

“I knew that no matter whether it was in this role or not, I would continue to serve the agency in the church at whatever capacity was needed,” he said. “The successes I've had in business, they seem to parallel what United Methodist Men could use moving forward, especially at a time when the church is looking at … coming out of a pandemic.”

excerpt from a story by Jim Patterson, UMNS reporter in Nashville, Tennessee.

The World Service Fund provides basic financial support to program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church. Through World Service funding, agencies support annual conferences and local congregations in living out God’s mission for the worldwide Church. General agencies also provide essential services and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences through services and ministries that are highly focused, flexible, and capable of rapid response.