Engagemi is the new mission engagement program for the Michigan Conference in January 2019.
Engagemi challenges Michigan Conference congregations to comprehensive missional learning, giving and action with the goal of encouraging congregations to shift from transactional “ministry to” models to relational “ministry with” vulnerable people and communities.
The Engagemi program consists of three focus areas: Learn, Give, Act. Congregations that meet the requirements in all three areas will be recognized as “Engagemi Congregations.”
“Ministry With” – Foundational Concept for Engage MI
“Ministry with” is the foundational concept for the Engage MI program. Based on The United Methodist Church’s “Ministry with the Poor” Area of Focus, “ministry with” is grounded in Jesus’ practice of ministry, and our Wesleyan heritage. It is an invitation to move from models of “ministry to” into models of “ministry with.”
“Ministry to” is defined as mission and ministry programs that merely “give to” or “do for” people. These programs can be highly efficient in distributing materials and resources to address immediate basic needs of food, water, clothing, and shelter. However, they can also create a hierarchy of “givers” over “receivers,” foster systems and relationships of dependency, and treat “givers” as saviors having all the resources and answers and the “receivers” as objects of charity and problems to be fixed.
In contrast, “ministry with” seeks not only to meet immediate needs, but, also, to foster mutual relationships where all participants are met with dignity, engaged in shared leadership, and growing together in God’s love. It is a challenge for all of us to prioritize people over programs, relationships over resources, and development of long-term solutions over quick fixes.
The Engage MI mission and ministry projects, here in Michigan and around the world, are all seeking to respond to this invitation. The goal of Engage MI is to encourage your congregation to partner with these projects and to meet the challenge of being in “ministry with” people in your congregation and your local community.