Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Basic Planning Guide for Mission Celebrations

If a church is planning a mission celebration it is important to begin the discussions with the pastor and mission committee 9 months to a year in advance. This allows sufficient time for prayerful discussions and discernment as preparation for a Mission Celebration offers opportunity for assessment of “where you are” and strategic planning for “where you need to go” and the next steps that will require. This also allows sufficient time for contacting Global Ministries, personnel in your conference and in your jurisdiction in order to secure the speakers, teachers, and materials for your event.

We recommended that all the details of the event are confirmed at least 4 months before your event. This allows your planning team a focus on publicity and engaging your congregation as you recruit involvement in the last quarter before your Mission Celebration.

Mission Celebration Ideas

Models of Mission Celebrations

Mission Celebrations can easily be modified to fit your context and the strategic goals that have been set. Whether you are in a small church or large church setting, or if this is an MC for congregation or district, it is important to establish a few primary goals. Then you can build the experience, and required personnel, around the goals.

Usually it is most helpful to have a “Celebration” component which recognizes how God has used a church or district, and a “Challenge” component which considers the next steps of faithful following of Christ in the Kingdom of God. It is necessary to have both of these elements and develop an event which expresses gratitude, yet pushes further into the next year of mission service.

Events might be framed as:

- Sunday morning or one day event

- Weekend or two day event

- Week or longer as a multiple day event

Depending on the length of time your team may include a variety of features to the event including worship, discipleship, training, service, prayer, small group, or other elements which engage your participants and make great use of your featured missionaries and partner groups.

Scripture for Mission Celebrations:

            Great Commission

            Great Commandment

            Acts 1:8

            2 Corinthians 5:14-20

            Ephesians 2:10

            Matthew 25:31-46



            Any of the Prophets

Possible Themes:

            “Every Member in Mission”


            “Across the Street, Around the World”

            “What You Do Matters”

            “Love God, Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”

            “Who Is My Neighbor?”

            “Passport to Mission”

            “Together to Transform the World”

            “Building Bridges”

            “Be the One”

mission celebrations

Mission Speakers or Teachers

Global Ministries staff members – from missionaries to executives in mission, from UMCOR and UMVIM to Generation Transformation and In Mission Together, from national mission to international mission – are available for your event. Once your Mission Celebration committee identifies the key areas of interest for your event you can request assistance of Global Ministries either for a specific speaker/teacher or for someone in the field of interest.

Recommended Links

Itinerating Missionaries 

In Mission Together 50/50 Partnerships

United Methodist Committee on Relief  

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission 

Music for Mission 

Youth & Young Adults in Mission

Ministry with the Poor