In the desert places build a highway so that God can get through! –-Isaiah 40:3
A Mission Highway connects The West Michigan Conference with millions of people and places around the world. It’s a highway that leads to peace, justice, hope and freedom in Jesus Christ. As we travel this highway and meet our neighbors, we move beyond ourselves and into a global community.
Through our Ministry Shares, our First Mile Giving, we help “build the highway” that allows us to travel into God’s world. We support a vast network that organizes outreach and shares resources that make a difference in the lives of millions of people. Our Ministry Shares support The United Methodist Church as it tells God’s Story and lives out God’s Love around the globe.
There’s a map that helps us travel the Mission Highway. It’s called the “Six Lanes of The Advance” and it deals with Second Mile Giving above and beyond our basic responsibilities for outreach. This map helps us remember that everyone–close by and far away–is our neighbor in Jesus Christ. Our Conference adopts “Advance Special Projects” in these Six Lanes and then encourages congregations to become “Six Lanes Churches” by supporting at least one project from each of the lanes. A Six Lanes Church also pays 100% of its Ministry Shares.
Some of the Six Lanes Projects are as near as Grand Rapids or Lansing. Others are as far away as New Mexico or even Vietnam. Wherever they are, these projects are about people who are our brothers and sisters in God’s family. You can see listings and descriptions of these projects by clicking the lanes listed at the left and you can download the complete Six Lanes Book 2015 (pdf format).
Mission is a two-way street open to everyone! You do not need to be a United Methodist, or even attend aUnitedMethodistChurch, to use these avenues for making a difference in the world. We are not alone on theMission Highway. We drive in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides us as we travel across Michigan and around the world sharing God’s gifts. God bless you on your journey on the Six Lanes, the “Mother Road of Mission,” reaching from West Michigan to the ends of the earth.
The main way we support the ministries of the church is through our apportioned funds, a method of giving that proportionally allocates the churchwide budget to conferences and local churches.