Part 1: Session 1


Click here to download a PDF of the Session One text and discussion questions
Click here to download the discussion questions

Welcome to Global Connect. This series is hosted by the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and designed to encourage you to think about how you and people you know may join hands and hearts together in service to God and neighbor throughout the world. Maybe a friend recommended this series to you, maybe you are just curious about what possibilities are out there. However you got here, we are glad you’re here.

This is the first and shortest of the four sessions, and our goal for this video is to show you an overview of what is to come. You may be familiar with the United Methodist Volunteer in Mission program (or V-I-M). Global Connect serves as the next generation of VIM leader and team training. We have moved the format online, and thought carefully about how to best prepare people not only for a mission experience, but for a life of mission. Fundamentally, we see this as a dynamic process of learning and serving. So, if you don’t feel like you have it all figured out—you are in the right place!

Over the next few sessions, we are going to hear from various people around the world, think about what opportunities there are to engage in service with others, and finally get into some of the specifics about how to go and serve with people in ways that are healthy and beneficial for all.

The Global Connect Series is divided into 4 parts. Most of the content is delivered in video form so you may engage at any time in any location.

In Part One, we will explore the question “Why?” Why serve? Why join with others? Why do these things matter?

Part Two is all about the fun and the challenges of cross-cultural work! In other words, we don’t know what we don’t know! Working with other people on projects whether down the street or across an ocean reminds us that it takes grace to work together. In part two we will learn to identify some of our own cultural tendencies and ways of seeing the world and explore how we can translate that into meaningful work with others. Part two takes the form of a Cultural Competency Tool—this is an assessment to help you think through some of your own personal challenges and opportunities in serving God and neighbor around the world. We designed it to broaden your personal understanding of how you can give your best to the people you interact with as you serve. Genuine, honest answers will produce the best results.

Once you have completed Parts One and Two, you will have the opportunity to explore what it means to lead a mission experience— Part Three moves to the details. Everything from the location where you might serve, to insurance forms, travel recommendations and more is discussed in Part Three. Something our team is most excited about for Part Three is that you are paired with a coach. As you plan to lead others in mission experiences, we believe meeting with someone virtually or face to face will fully equip you to serve exceptionally. We will share more details in Part Three.

Remember how I said earlier that if you didn’t know everything you were in the right place?! Well, we believe that as we serve we learn important lessons—lessons to share with others. Part Four will provide ways to think through cultural re-entry, give you an online space to share resources with other leaders, and let you follow up with your coach who helped in the design of the project. Collectively, this information will help make better experiences for individuals and groups down the road.

But it all starts with the why … We are glad you are here. Let’s share the journey together!

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you had any mission experiences in the past? What were they like?
  2. What excites you about working with others when trying to make a difference?
  3. What are your reservations or fears about mission?
  4. Why do you think engaging in mission is important?
  5. What do you hope to get out of this experience?