General Conference 2008: United Methodist Mission Statement Revised
General Conference delegates voted April 28 to refine the UMC's mission statement, infusing a mission directive into the life and work of the church. The statement now reads, "The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." The latter phrase was added in the revision and now will appear in the Book of Discipline.
Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Iowa Conference, newly installed president of the Council of Bishops, explained that when the Council of Bishops met in the fall of 2004, they asked themselves, "To what end do we make disciples of Jesus Christ? Is making disciples an end in itself, or does God have a purpose for which he redeems us, recovers us and makes us whole?" The bishops had an overall sense that the statement was incomplete.
"This is the missionary piece of our making disciples of Christ," noted Bishop Palmer. "We seek to join God in the redemption of the whole world."
The bishops began to use the phrase "for the transformation of the world" in relation to the mission of the church, and various annual conferences also added it to their own mission statements. – Christie R. House, editor of New World Outlook, a publication of the General Board of Global Ministries (UMNS)