Guidelines for UMVIM Teams


Conference Volunteer in Mission Coordinators
Susan Baker
Home (207) 685-4603

Jeff Munson
Cell (207) 446-5701

Other Resources 

Mission sites
The General Board of Global Ministries maintains a map with information on approved UMVIM sites: UMVIM Map. We recommend starting in the Northeastern Jurisdiction.
Youth-friendly sites
It can be difficult to find locations that are willing to take volunteers younger than 18. Discipleship Ministries, through its Young People's Ministries Initiative, has a website listing UMC youth mission sites. Both of the Conference UMVIM Coordinators have extensive experience leading youth in mission trips and are eager to share their insights.
Suggested reading
For teams preparing to be in mission:

A Mission Journey – A Handbook for Volunteers 

Transforming Ventures – A Spiritual Guide to Volunteers in Mission (Jane Ives)

Mission Trips That Matter – Embodied Faith for the Sake of the World (Don C. Richter)  

What Does It Mean To Be A Volunteer?

Volunteers in Mission can take on several different forms. The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) offers a wide range of individual and group volunteer mission opportunities, ranging from individuals in mission through Missionary, Primetimer and Nomad Programs through local and global team volunteer opportunities though your church and in conjunction with other organizations.  

GBGM defines these opportunities and can help you decide what makes the most sense for your desires and situation.  

The Conference VIM Coordinators are available to help churches plan mission trips, provide Team Leader training and point you in the right direction for the variety of resources available.

Characteristics of UMVIM Teams

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission:

  • Are open to God’s blessing.
  • Radiate Christ’s love.
  • Share Christ’s great spirit of kindness, acceptance, and unity.
  • Serve Christ and His people.
  • Lift up God in all they do.
  • Have a healthy prayer life.
  • Think team, not self.
  • Are flexible, patient, and relaxed.
  • Realize that people are more important than work results.
  • Understand that cultures are different, not superior or inferior.

Guidelines for UMVIM Teams

The intent of these guidelines is to ensure that the presence of the team will not interfere with the authority and integrity of the church leadership, thereby strengthening and upholding the local church. The team will have an UMVIM trained leader who provides training for the team, ensures completion of proper forms and insurance coverage, and is in communication with annual conference and jurisdictional UMVIM leadership.

How your church can get involved

It all starts with you! Begin by calling an informational meeting to explore the possibility of forming a team – at least a year before you want to send a team. The UMVIM Coordinators are more than willing to come to your meeting to assist you.

Determine who your potential leaders are. Have them attend team leader training provided by the New England Conference. Contact the UMVIM Coordinator with your interest so a training session can be planned.

If you do not have anyone who has UMVIM experience – whether with an adult team or a youth team – have some members join an existing team. Team members do not need building experience. Good teams to start with are ones going to Rural Mission, United Methodist Economic Ministry or to the Gulf. Another option is to take your youth on a mission to Appalachia Service Project, Henderson Settlement or Redbird Mission. These ministries send you all kinds of information for your preparation as well as handle everything on site including all meals.

The people you send will gain valuable experience to help you form your team.

Once someone is trained, with a small group of organizers and the help of the UMVIM coordinators, you can plan for a trip. Call for interested members and publicize it within the church, and you’re off and running!

Insuring your UMVIM Teams

The New England Conference strongly encourages each UMVIM team to obtain UMVIM accident insurance prior to beginning a mission experience to ensure that adequate insurance is available in case of accidents or other medical issues. The best insurance for the UMVIM community includes both accident and medical coverage.  

Why buy this coverage if you already have health insurance? This coverage pays some deductibles and co-pays as a secondary insurance plan.

Insurance designed specifically for mission trips (domestic and international) is available through the Northeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, which provides accidental and medical expense benefits, medical evacuation and repatriation coverage and lost luggage, plus other benefits. This site also provides a wealth of information that you may want to browse through as you prepare your mission trip.

The insurance forms page can be found here: