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Vietnam Mission Initiative
The church in Vietnam is growing rapidly. Strong local leadership, including the ordination of the first 12 Local Elders in Mission in January 2013 and two more in October 2014. Many local pastors are highly educated; most have completed a college education before they became pastors. This high level of education, along with the commitment to serve Christ’s church, make them very effective in developing and expanding the mission work.
There are more than 320 United Methodist churches in Vietnam, with 248 pastors. In 2013, these local leaders launched Vision 2020, with the aim of planting 800 new churches by 2020 (100 each year). This incredible goal flies in the face of the adversity that churches and church leaders face in this country that is just beginning to open up to Christianity.
Along with congregational development, training programs for pastoral and lay leaders continues to be a strength. Each of the current nine districts has well-established training programs, many of which are locally led. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Raleigh Episcopal Area also provides episcopal oversight for the mission.
Church registration as a denomination in Vietnam continues to be a major challenge. The Vietnam United Methodist Church is an unrecognized church entity, and therefore it is not easy to assemble or to have foreign Christians interact with local United Methodist churches and leaders in Vietnam. The General Board of Global Ministries began the church registration process with the Vietnamese Government in 2008 and continues to work with them to meet the ever-changing government requests.
Leadership development for these churches and the new church plants to come is difficult. Churches in Vietnam struggle with financial self-sufficiency after the initial salary support ends. They are seeking ways to increase weekly giving and tent-making opportunities for the pastors to enable them to follow God’s call.
Missionaries have played multiple roles in Vietnam, such as preacher, teacher, church planter, entrepreneur, healer, organizer, agronomist, and evangelist. View current missionaries in Vietnam 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 Vietnam. The coordinator also connects the church in the United States with ministry in Vietnam and assists with communication between the two. The In Mission Together coordinator for Vietnam is Joel Rabb (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information or to become involved please contact Myungim Kim, regional executive for Vietnam (email@example.com), or you can give to the Vietnam Mission Initiative, Advance #14932A.
Learn more about Mission Initiatives and how local churches in the US are partnering with these congregations through the In Mission Together program.