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GBGM Theology and Strategy

Introduction and Methodology | Theology of Mission | Purpose and Vision | Organizational Values

Introduction and Methodology

The following document details the results of the General Board of Global Ministries (Global Ministries) Strategic Planning process. This effort began in April 2010 and was initiated by Global Ministries' Board of Directors in cooperation and collaboration with the General Secretary, Cabinet and staff of the agency to identify a strategic direction for the future of the agency. Key elements of the Strategic Plan were adopted by the Global Ministries Board of Directors on April 12, 2011. In addition, the Directors also approved a single Theology of Mission statement (which begins on page 3) that will be translated in many ways, languages, dialects and contexts appropriate for communicating in various settings.

This Strategic Plan is intended to represent the Board of Director's vision for Global Ministries. It outlines what the Board hopes to be accomplished by the agency during the next three to five years. The Strategic Plan also attempts to reflect the needs and desires of the agency's stakeholders and partners, and articulate the agency's role in The United Methodist Church.

The process of developing a strategic plan explores 3 specific questions:

  1. What do we know to be true? - Where are we?
  2. What do we hope will be true in the future? - Where do we want to go?
  3. What must go well in order to make it so? - How do we get there?


In April 2010, the strategic planning process officially began. At the April board meeting, the outline of the process was presented to the Board members, and their input was solicited regarding issues they wanted explored and stakeholder and partners they wanted to be engaged in the strategic planning process. Additionally, Global Ministries' engaged the services of The Novak Consulting Group to facilitate the process.

To answer the question "What do we know to be true?" an Environmental Scan was completed. Based on input from the Board of Directors, The Novak Consulting Group worked in partnership with staff of the agency to solicit input from Global Ministries' key partners and stakeholders. The results of this input were compiled into the Environmental Scan.

The Environmental Scan presented factors that have the potential to influence the direction of the agency and included a review of global trends, historical data about Global Ministries, and input from between 800 - 900 of the agency's partners and stakeholders, and shared in a prior deliverable. Several common themes emerged from the environmental scan:

  1. Global Ministries is relevant in the life of The United Methodist Church, but its role in the Church must change.
  2. Global Ministries should celebrate and support the mission work that is currently happening throughout the connection.
  3. Global Ministries should aggressively and intentionally engage, connect, and communicate with its partners.
  4. The agency suffers from a perception of poor customer service.
  5. A large portion of stakeholders are unsure whether Global Ministries is a responsible steward of its resources.
  6. Global Ministries' stakeholders are ready and willing to partner and collaborate in mission.

In July 2010, several members of the Board of Directors were asked to serve on the Board Strategic Planning Team which was tasked with leading the strategic planning process. Board members included:

The General Secretary, members of the Cabinet, and Rev. Dr. James Dwyer also served on the Board Planning Team.

The Board Strategic Planning Team held its first of three meetings in August 2010. The purpose of this meeting was to review the results of the Environmental Scan and begin drafting a vision and mission for the agency. The Board Strategic Planning Team then presented their initial drafts of the vision, mission, values, and key performance areas to the Board of Directors at the October 2010 meeting. At that meeting, the Board members reviewed the results of the Environmental Scan and worked in small groups to provide their input regarding these items as well as the Theology of Mission.

In December 2010, the Board Strategic Planning Team held their second meeting. They reviewed all input received from Board members and further refined the elements of the strategic plan. These revisions were shared with all Board members, and their feedback was again solicited, this time through an electronic survey. The results of this survey were tabulated and presented to the Board Strategic Planning Team at their final meeting in February 2011. During this meeting, final revisions were made to the Theology of Mission, vision, purpose, values, and key performance areas. Additionally, the Board Strategic Planning Team engaged in an informative exercise to prioritize all of the key ministries of the agency.

The final strategic plan presented in this document is a culmination of input from Directors, the Board Strategic Planning Team and staff of Global Ministries.

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Last Modified: 14 May 2011
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