BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Woman’s Missionary Union will focus on three strategic objectives during the coming four years, WMU Executive Director Wanda Lee told the organization’s national and state leaders during its winter board meeting.
From 2015 through 2018, the Southern Baptist Convention’s missions organization will highlight equipping leaders, preparing children and youth for missional living in a postmodern culture, and focusing on small churches, Lee said.
WMU “will focus on equipping for missional living in as many different formats and avenues as possible,” she pledged.
As a result of a visioning trip to secularized Scandinavia in partnership with the SBC International Mission Board, Lee said WMU “must take the lead in preparing our children and youth for living in a postmodern culture … for knowing what they believe and how to share their faith in this culture and for determining the truths of Scripture that never change when everything around them is changing.”
“We believe WMU can reshape the way we develop curriculum and guide teachers in their experiences with children and youth to help shape a stronger generation for faith and service,” she said. “During 2016-18, this will be at the forefront of our curriculum planning and training.”
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Addressing faith issues in the midst of trauma also will be addressed through WMU’s Project HELP: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, she said.
“We will continue to seek ways to address the issues of post-traumatic stress our children are now faced with, from violence in our schools, to effects of war on families, to the response needed in our churches,” she said.
WMU also will focus on assisting smaller churches with developing missions discipleship programs for all ages, Lee said. About 90 percent of SBC churches have 250 members or less.
WMU President Debby Akerman recounted increased attendance at six state WMU events she attended in the past year compared to previous years. “It has been wonderful to pray with a number of state WMU leaders in specifically asking the Lord to increase attendance,” she said.
She also encouraged state WMU leaders to assist churches in starting new WMU missions organizations.
In other business, the national WMU Executive Board of national WMU:
• Awarded about $230,000 in endowments, grants and scholarships in partnership with the WMU Foundation.
• Approved a $175 million goal for the 2015 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions.
• Approved a $70 million goal for the 2016 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for home missions.
• Adopted plans for WMU work in the churches for 2016-18, including an extension of PTSD as the critical issue to be addressed through Project HELP. It is the current issue for 2014-16.
• Adopted new name for Women on Mission Planner. Effective September 2015, this leader resource for Women on Mission facilitators will be titled Women on Mission Leader.