What does the mission statement of the AME church mean to you?

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The mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved,: that is, to seek out and save the lost and and serve the needy through a continuing program of: preaching the gospel, Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, cheering the fallen, proviving jobs for the jobless, administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens homes, caring for the sick, shut-in, mentally and socially disturbed and encouraging thrift and economic advancement. What does our mission statement mean to you?

-- Anonymous, February 14, 2001


The mission statement of the AME church means that we as members should seek the will of God for our lives and the life of our denomination by prayer, fasting, Bible study and worship. We should never for any minute think that we can do anything better than God or without God. We should follow the leader who is the Holy Spirit in our pursuit of the master's master plan for our lives. It is God who has made the AME church a success and it is God alone who will continue to make the AME church prosper. We should be like the children of Israel when they followed God out of Egypt by following a cloud of fire at night and a cloud during the day. When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud stopped, they stopped. The AME mission statement also challenges us to support our denomination with our resources such as money and time. We have the organizational structure in place, all we need is to follow the Holy Spirit's direction.


-- Anonymous, February 16, 2001

The AME mission statement is an accurate reflection of biblical christianity, one that is very idealistic in terms of its far-reachingness. What it means to me is, in reflection to what I see actually happening in the AME church, is that more people need to read and understand the AME mission statement.

The cultural norms in the United States today are contrary to the AME mission statement. In our society, survival of the fittest is the norm. You get yours and I will get mine. The AME mission statement requires a compassion and humility that does not fit with raw individualism.

Politicians as well as church leadership focus on the empowerment of the induvidual, and I am afraid that I see much of this individualism in the AME church. I see this in the battles for political gain in the denomination. Many ethical and moral laws, societal as well as Christian, are broken in attempts to be number one.

Furthermore, from what I have seen in the AME denomination, much energy is focused in the wrong direction - UPWARD. All finances go upward in the political structure and nothing comes down. There is no attention or finances from the top of the structure that are directed toward planting new churches or supporting struggling churches. On cue, the benevolent offerings that are taken up by the churches go right into the general fund and are used for everthing except benevolence.

Also, all attention goes upward. Upward to impress the Bishop. The Bishop seems to be worshipped more than God by some members while the hungry are ignored, the naked remain naked, the sick and shut-in are forgotten etc....

The quest to be number one, the biggest, and the most popular, has replaced the humility that is required to live by the AME mission statement. Many worshippers and clergy are seeking the individualistic abundance along with the signs and wonders that are so much advertised in our TV culture.

The AME mission statement is wonderful words, but it is pie in the sky if her people do not read it, believe in it, or act upon it.

I am not suggesting that all AME's are in this same boat. I have seen some great Christian ministry in the AME church, and my hope and prayer is to see more of the mission statement lived out.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2001

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