WITH the Poor

We had a Missions Celebration Event throughout the Wisconsin United Methodist Church this month.  I was really invigorated by the message of Dr. Thomas Kemper, who is the general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM).  It is exciting to me that he is a lay leader and that he is from Germany rather than the US, giving some emphasis to the global in GBGM.

“We think it’s all about money, but it’s about people, giving of ourselves,” Kemper said. As Christ sends his people into the harvest, which Jesus describes as “plentiful,” he said, “Let us work together that so the Kingdom of God is right at the doorsteps of people we meet and serve.”

I really appreciated his emphasis on ministry with, rather than ministry to or ministry for the poor.  Dr. Kemper used a new video that was fantastic at making this very point.


With* is a United Methodist campaign to raise awareness, educate, and inspire people around Ministry with the poor  . With*, including a website, which provides resources for learning, mobilizing, connecting, and engaging with ministries and people to eradicate poverty. The goal is :

1) to create a space for visitors to encourage, share with, and challenge one another as we transform how we view and talk about “the poor” and

2) to go out and transform communities.

Ministry with the Poor is about answering Jesus’ call to discipleship in God’s mission of love and justice. Following Jesus’ example of servant leadership, those who enjoy greater privilege are called to listen to, learn from, walk humbly with, and empower those at society’s margins. We are called to work as partners with the marginalized in eradicating poverty and transforming this world into a just and caring Kingdom of God.

The video is great, and it made me aware that some of the most effective missions I see in action, do have this emphasis on *with.

Click on the video link above.

It was very moving for me.

I believe that the cold weather intervention on the south side of Milwaukee exemplifies this principle very well.  http://tippechurch.org/DivineInterventionColdWeatherMinistry.dsp

With a committed,  small group of people, in discipleship with Jesus, wonderful ministries are happening.


About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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