Volunteers in mission have been present since the beginning of the church. St. Paul was one of the earliest volunteers in mission. As a tent maker, he financed his own missionary journeys to preach the Christian gospel and share the love of Christ with persons in many places.
In more recent times, the concept of giving personal time in volunteer Christian service has developed into a major mission effort. All of God's children have unique gifts and skills which can be used in ministry. The Mission Volunteers Program Area facilitates the wise use of these gifts and skills.
The work of the church is done largely by volunteers!
In 1976, a special movement was organized in the Southeast called United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM). This "grass roots" organization gave direction and impetus to the volunteer effort in the United Methodist Church.
Since that time, thousands of volunteers have served throughout the world. For many who have chosen this form of mission, it has been a life changing experience.
The Volunteers who serve Volunteers In Mission, both lay and clergy, are engaged in Christian ministry. In fulfilling the work to which God has called us, we embody the UMVIM motto "Christian Love in Action".
All of God's children have unique gifts and skills which can be used in ministry. Volunteers may serve locally in churches and communities - visiting, assisting in nursing homes, repairing houses, tutoring, etc.
They may serve in annual conference projects such as community centers, children's centers, camps, and Vacation Bible Schools.
They may serve nationally or internationally, sometimes ecumenically, in projects ranging from construction to evangelizing to social outreach and medical assistance.