Editor's Note: As the 2012 General Conference approaches, United Methodist News Service is looking at details of legislation and offering information to help readers better understand how the church works. A number of proposals are aimed at restructuring the denomination and its general ministries, so UMNS asked the top executives of each agency to answer five questions about their agency's role in the church. This is the response from the Commission on United Methodist Men.
4. How does the average United Methodist pastor or member benefit from your agency's work? Social advocacy? Curriculum? Scholarships? Please give a concrete example, ideally quoting a testimonial from someone outside of your agency.
We provide practical proven assistance and materials that are consistent with United Methodist theology. Our lead staff and volunteers speak from their current and past experiences in their local churches; they continue to do this ministry in their position and in their local church.
"The Commission on United Methodist Men," said Steve Nailor, a lay member of the Northern Illinois Annual (regional) Conference, "is critical to our local, district and conference units through the development of materials in concert with our local churches. This gives the local church opportunities to help develop and provide input to what works and what does not. The commission is the one place these church units go for help and information being used by other churches, districts and conferences. I have been to many denominations that do not have the connection our church has. I believe if our church is to survive and grow, United Methodist Men will play a large role in that effort."
5. How much money and how many employees does it take to maintain the work your agency is currently doing?
We are unique in that we raise 75 percent of our budget. We currently have seven full-time employees, one part-time employee, four deployed volunteer staff and hundreds of volunteers. Our yearly budget is $1.4 million, but we receive only $350,000 per year from apportionments. The dollar amount from apportionments has been about the same since the 1990s.
Learn more: Website of the Commission on United Methodist Men.
For more information, visit the 2012 General Conference website.