Belong. Grow. Serve. Global Community United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio, takes their motto seriously. Columbus is filled with many cultures, faiths, languages and ethnicities, providing the perfect backdrop for Global UMC to embrace the command in Acts 1:8 to be witnesses for Jesus at home, to their neighbors and around the world.
“We don’t want our church to be a gathering,” Daniel Kim, Senior Pastor at Global UMC, said. “We gather and have a place to belong in that context, but we grow, and then we go serve.”
Located 10 minutes from Ohio State University (OSU), they seek to reach college students and young professionals. Their services reflect the cultural diversity within their city, with individuals and families with Asian, Hispanic, African-American and Anglo heritage.
“If we truly believe in the good news, regardless of whether they are Syrians or from Mexico or the inner city or the suburbs, they all need to hear and somebody needs to incarnate the good news for them,” Daniel said.
Referencing Acts 1:8, Daniel and his congregation believe that while it’s important to minister to those in Jerusalem, it’s also equally vital to serve globally.
“We need to be a witness to Jesus in Jerusalem and Judea and to the ends of the earth,” he said. “Sometimes we focus so much on the Jerusalem because the needs are so overwhelming in our backyard that we forget the conjunction commanding us to build global relationships.”
Because of the diversity in their church, the mission trips are to their neighbors, not just to random countries. Their goal is to connect their mission abroad with their local church community. The church currently has traveled to Northern India, Kenya and Haiti to minister to their neighbors.
“That’s the spirit of mission,” he said. “ Having the sensitivity and openness to take the leap of faith and to go to the person who is other than you. We have to embrace the momentary awkwardness. If we have enough awkward moments, we make a breakthrough.”
Although languages and customs may differ, Daniel has found community within diversity. Often those differences create discipleship moments, even in Columbus. The church offers ESL tutoring to refugees from Somalia, campus evangelism to OSU students, and recently adopted a Syrian refugee family through World Relief.
“The thing that’s really exciting for us is that we are a missional church and embrace the idea of being a missional church,” Daniel said.
Daniel is the founding and senior pastor of Global Community United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Peggy, have three children, Emma, Joshua and Abigail.
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