Do you have questions about the meaning of some of the terms and teachings of The United Methodist Church? In this series, we ask clergy to share their understanding of topics. No preaching, just conversation.
In this episode, we asked the Rev Mike Sluder to talk about what being in mission means to United Methodists. Sluder is the Director of Connectional Ministries and Conference Secretary of Global Missions with the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The Rev. Mike Sluder, Holston Conference: "Why are we in mission as a church? Why do we reach out and meet needs around us? Quite frankly, that's who we're called to be. John Wesley guided us along this path as he emphasized many, many times about love of God and love of neighbor being hand-in-hand. They must go together. He was simply living out what he believed Jesus was teaching us. Throughout the Scriptures, particularly throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus teaching us time and time again that to love God is to love neighbor. And it doesn't matter who that neighbor is. Jesus was very explicit when he said, 'Here's what love of neighbor looks like: You saw me hungry and you fed me. You saw me thirsty and you gave me drink. You saw me sick and you took care of me.' That's what love of neighbor looks like. And those neighbors, they start right next to you right in your own hometown, but it doesn't stop there. It goes all the way to the ends of the earth. Wherever you see a need, as the church, as United Methodists, we reach out to meet that need. It's who we are. And it all goes back I believe to a covenant made with Abraham centuries ago when God said, I'm gonna bless you so that through you I can bless all the families of the earth.We're heirs of that promise. We're heirs of that covenant. We are blessed and we are to be a blessing. That's why we're in mission, to bless those around us, to love God by loving our neighbors."
Want to learn more about United Methodist beliefs? Visit umc.org/beliefs. To find a pastor to talk with and a church to visit, try Find-A-Church.
View the entire series Reflections on our Faith.
This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Joe Iovino.
This video was first posted on January 10, 2018.