The Center for Mission Innovation
CMI is a new, forward-thinking unit of Global Ministries, and aims to provide a laboratory for the Church to learn best practices and new innovations in both local and global mission. We are asking questions about how we as a Church pursue social justice not on behalf of the marginalized but alongside of them. We are thinking about long-term sustainability, about innovative practices that can transform individuals and communities, and about how we partner across barriers of race, class, and nationality to help bring about the Kingdom of God. Overall, the Center for Mission Innovation hopes to cultivate new understandings of the missio Dei in the 21st century, and to serve as a resource for laypeople, clergy, and local congregations who desire to be a part of God’s mission in the world.
Based at Global Ministries’ new North American headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the Center for Mission Innovation is comprised of approximately 15 people working to reimage mission practice in the 21st century. Our team is diverse in nationality, race, age, and professional experience, though drawn together by a common desire to help the church pursue God’s mission. Some staff have previously worked across the globe as full-time missionaries, while others have followed their passions into ordained ministry with local congregations, missionary training and support, international disaster response, the nonprofit sector, theological education, local politics, or for-profit businesses. These diverse experiences and insights all help to shape our shared approach to the Center’s work, and we hope will yield helpful resources for you regardless of what context you are coming from.
The Center for Mission Innovation seeks to become the denomination’s central resource and gathering place for innovative experiences and discussions on mission practice in the 21st century. With this goal in mind, we…
- Identify new models of mission that are built on mutuality and the tenets of asset-based community development
- Listen to and learn from the voices of those who are frequently marginalized or ignored, gleaning from their unique wisdom
- Create and host workshops, symposia, and seminars, with the goal of bringing people together from across the Methodist connection to creatively question and explore the practice of mission in new ways
- Share new resources and methodologies that embody the United Methodist Theology of Mission, but are also inspired by the church’s still-evolving practices of mission across the world
- Establish, empower, and connect new networks of trained mission innovators, to encourage and strengthen their practices of mission in their own local contexts
- Build strategic partnerships with individuals, local congregations, and external organizations (including NGO’s, nonprofits, and universities), applying their insights and best practices to our own work.
- Select, support, and accompany a new generation of scholars and practitioners, to ensure that they are well prepared to be agents of change in both local and global mission
We believe that the Spirit of God is always moving to sweep the Church into a new age of mission. Old patterns and ways of being are giving way to this inbreaking Spirit, who invites us to partner with God and with one another to bring about the Kingdom of God in this world. The Center for Mission Innovation is excited to bear witness to this work of the Spirit, and hopes you will journey with us as we work to alleviate suffering, seek justice and freedom, and make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.