In 2006 the Iowa Annual Conference took a bold step to move United Methodist churches toward revitalization in the mission of Jesus Christ. As part of a plan to reorganize and redistrict the Conference, the position of Field Outreach Minister (FOM) was created.
Field Outreach Ministers are “free agents” for renewal—going wherever there is an opening, doing whatever it takes, developing partnerships with clergy and laity—to stir up congregations to pursue the United Methodist mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” They teach, provide resources, consult, preach, facilitate change, and support leadership. They listen, pray, advise, encourage, and challenge leaders to risk following Jesus into the new mission field which is their community.
The Healthy Church Initiative is one of the focal points of the work of FOMs. The world is changing very rapidly. The position of churches within American society and within our communities is very different from forty years ago. Long-standing habits, patterns, and customs of church life are proving less and less effective. Many believe the Spirit of God is stirring within the Church, stirring up a movement of renewal in faith and mission that reminds us of the Wesleyan origins of The United Methodist Church.
Do you want to be part of that movement? Your Field Outreach Ministers stand ready to assist you with decades of experience and continued learning at their disposal and at your service. Bishop Haller introduces the FOMs as an extension of the local church staff, so don't be shy. Call or email an FOM today!
Naomi Sea Young Wittstruck
South Central District