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FIRST-PERSON: WMU’s heart for missions begins with personal faith in Christ

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–In 1997, the national WMU Executive Board adopted nine statements that articulate the foundational truths for all we do in WMU. We refer to these as our Core Values.

The first core value is foundational to all of the others. It reads: “We believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God, gave His life a sacrifice for the salvation of all people of the world, fulfilling God’s plan for the ages as revealed in the Bible, God’s Holy Word.”

At the center of our faith lies a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. John 3:16 becomes reality when we recognize our sinfulness, ask God to forgive us, and invite Jesus into our hearts. At this point we begin a lifelong journey into a faith relationship with God. As our faith grows, God is able to shape and mold us into the person he desires us to be. Everything that follows is based on this foundational truth of God’s provision of grace and salvation.

My personal decision to follow Christ came when I was 8 years old. I cannot remember a time when I did not know Jesus loved me, but one day I realized I had a personal decision to make. I needed to publicly acknowledge my sinfulness and ask Jesus into my heart. It was the beginning of my spiritual journey with a faithful God. The presence of God through the Holy Spirit has confirmed my decision over and over.

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We begin at this point in everything we do in WMU. Missions is understood in the context of our personal experiences with Christ. As we grow in our faith, we see God at work in his world and discover he has a place for us in his plan for reaching the entire world with the gospel. WMU desires to assist individuals in finding their unique place of service. How do we do that?

Mission groups in the church

Missions principles and information provided through an ongoing educational format build on our salvation experience, making a lasting impact on our lives. We are better able to hear God’s call, understand what he is calling us to do, and respond by following him.

Ministry models and opportunities

Jesus modeled the importance of living out our faith in practical ways. WMU recognizes the need to learn how to minister effectively while sharing our faith. Therefore, ministry models such as Christian Women’s Job Corps, Project HELP, and other initiatives are developed. MissionsFest, Acteen Activators and Women on Mission Enterprisers provide avenues to practice what we have learned.

The foundational core value of WMU in the church and around the world is our desire for people to come to faith in Christ. Following the servant model of Jesus opens the door for communicating the gospel in such a way that people can see Christ through us and hear his message of love and salvation.
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