Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Thailand



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Thailand Mission Initiative

The work in Thailand is focused on developing “center churches.” The General Board of Global Ministries’ resources assist the sites to become self-sufficient congregations, in part by helping develop cell groups that can become local churches when they reach 20 adult members, with pastors provided. Once fully developed, these center churches will provide financial and human resources to expand mission work in Thailand.

Church growth has been slow in Thailand. The culture of Theravada Buddhism among ethnic Thais makes church planting in urban areas difficult, so it was with great joy that the Chiang Mai United Methodist Church celebrated their first worship service with 37 people on Sunday, July 12, 2015. This church will also serve as the center for campus ministry in this second-largest city in Thailand. There are currently six churches in Thailand, which are served by seven pastors and Global Ministries missionaries.

In 2009 the mission initiative began social outreach ministry for children with HIV/AIDS in Chiang Mai. There is now an orphanage for girls and the mission provides assistance in the medical care for children infected with HIV/AIDS in neighborhoods around the city of Chiang Mai. Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Great Plains Episcopal Area provides episcopal oversight for the mission.

Challenges

Lack of financial resources and slow church growth, particularly in urban areas, makes forward movement in Thailand difficult.

Missionaries

In the absence of a United Methodist presence, the first missionaries were critical in cultivating local leadership and developing new churches and ministries. They played multiple roles in Thailand such as preacher, teacher, church planter, advocate, evangelist, and organizer. View current missionaries serving in Thailand on the right sidebar.

In Mission Together Partnerships

The In Mission Together coordinator provides training for U.S. churches to develop healthy partnerships as they move from short-term ministry to long-term relationships that build the capacity of the church in Thailand. The coordinator also connects the church in the United States with ministry in Thailand and assists with communication between the two. The In Mission Together coordinator for Thailand is Karen Weiss (thailandimt@gmail.com). Share your prayers and get real time updates by joining the Facebook group page for this Mission Initiative. Visit the page and click on “Join Group” to become a part of the conversation.

Be Involved

For more information or to become involved please contact Myungim Kim, regional executive for Thailand (mkim@umcmission.org), or you can give to the Thailand Mission Initiative, Advance #00403A.

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​Thailand Mission INitiative (PDF)