Our Mission

We believe God has called us to love, encourage and empower people to experience faith and life in Jesus Christ. Our mission compels us to have an outward focus on reaching people who are in our neighborhoods and communities who need to see Christ in us – loving and serving them just as Jesus would. Our mission motivates us to not “play church” – but to be an authentic community of faith that loves God, loves each other, and loves people – especially those God has placed in our spheres of influence.

 

Making the Connection

To accomplish our mission, we must be making the connection – with God, with people, and with our communities:

The way we connect with God is through worship. That’s why we value our weekend celebrations – expressed both in our contemporary and traditional services.

The way we connect with people is through small groups. In small groups we do life together, applying the scriptures and growing in Christ.
 
The way we connect with the people in our neighborhoods, communities, workplaces and schools – is through serving. We believe that every member of our congregation is a minister and missionary – commissioned to the adventure of being the hands and feet of Jesus in the world where we live.
 

Our Missional Name: “Hereford Faith & Life Church”

What do these churches have in common?

Embrace Church in Sioux Falls South Dakota; The Gathering in Mt. Juliet TN; Community of Hope in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida; Impact Church in Atlanta, GA; and Crosspoint Church in Niceville, FL.

What these 5 seemingly “independent” churches have in common is that they are among the top 25 fastest growing United Methodist Churches in our Nation.

Another thing they have in common is that these congregations have made every effort to maximize their impact in the communities they serve by emphasizing a distinct identity in their localities as opposed to emphasizing their denominational affiliation.

We have churches right here in our own Conference who have done the same thing: Glen Mar Church – in Ellicott City, Md. (http://glenmarumc.org/) and Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air MD (https://www.mzprays.org/).

After a lot of prayer and discussion, our Church Council decided to “brand” our congregation from simply being one of the many United Methodist Churches within driving distance of our campus – and embrace a “missional name” – that will remind our members and reveal to the thousands of people in our communities what we’re really all about: Helping people experience faith and life in Jesus Christ.

We are a United Methodist congregation. That hasn’t changed! Our legal name remains Hereford UMC. That hasn’t changed. And as a United Methodist Church – we are in connection with all United Methodist Churches in our Conference and around the world. That hasn’t changed!

What led us to consider such a radical change?

First, dropping our denominational affiliation in our name has been talked about by leaders for years. Being “United Methodist” today in our culture has very little if any meaning at all to this generation and culture.

If you are 65 or older (as I am), the United Methodist Church may mean something to you. I grew up in the Methodist Church, and remember when we became United Methodists in 1968. I think of Methodism as having a rich history of sharing Christ, a Wesleyan theology that emphasizes the Grace of God, and a way of doing church according our UM Discipline that connects all United Methodist Churches.

But you’re in your 50s, 40s – or younger, being United Methodist gets fuzzier – and the younger you are, the less clear it becomes. To our unchurched culture, and younger generations – there is no connotation at all – and perhaps it may even be in a negative context as an outdated Christian institution.

Secondly, we wanted to distinguish what we are about to the people around us. We want people both inside and outside our church to know that we are on an assignment from God: To help people everywhere experience faith and life in Jesus Christ.

The truth is, very few of members know the mission statement of our church. Partly because we don’t pay attention to it and we just keep on doing church they way we’ve always done church regardless of a statement in our bulletins or letterheads.

Even fewer people in our communities know our mission – and why we exist and what we are trying to accomplish. What distinguishes us in the communities we serve from the multitude of churches around us of every denomination?

With our missional name – Hereford Faith & Life Church – our members and soon our communities will know that what this United Methodist congregation is all about: helping people experience faith and life in Jesus Christ! That’s our mission! That’s what we do! It’s the reason we’re here!

When people ask you, “Why do you go to that church? And what do you do there?” We’ve made the answer simple. It’s in our name: “We are all about helping people experience faith and life in Jesus!” It’s that simple – and that profound!

We realize it’s going to take some getting used to. And we know that some will even experience a season of sadness and we understand that. It was a tough decision – but we want to reach our communities and pave a way forward into a fruitful future of sharing Jesus Christ! Think of it this way, Jesus said, “New wine needs to be put into new wineskins.” Our “missional name” is a new wine skin that will help us stay on course and accomplish the mission Jesus gave all of us, “Go into all the world and make disciples!”