BETHEL UMC Strategic Plan

Mission, Vision & Value Statements


Mission Statement:

Knowing Christ, Growing in Faith, and Showing God’s Love.



Vision Statement:

Bethel United Methodist Church is continuing an unchanging heritage of faith, striving to be a sacred place to know Christ fully, to grow spiritually, and to show God’s love through compassion, service and generosity.



Value Statements:

  • We are committed to upholding the doctrine and the theological beliefs of the United Methodist Church.
  • We believe that our faith hinges on the truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • We believe that learning and studying God’s Word is the key to our life in Christ.
  • We believe that Christ’s love and salvation is available to all who seek it.
  • We believe we are, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to help people accept and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.
  • We believe we are to live life in light of our relationship with God.
  • We believe the church should be a safe place for all who enter.
  • We believe we are called by Christ to share our time, talents, tithes and spiritual gifts with each other, our community and people throughout the world.




Christian Growth


All church programs and projects will be designed to help Bethel UMC members and friends deepen their love for God and their relationship with Him and each other.

Objective 1:  Encourage all prospective members to attend a Member Orientation class.

How:  Develop a Member Orientation Team to assist and guide the classes – logistics, point of contact, expand availability, etc.


Objective 2:  Encourage new members to attend a new member dinner sponsored by the church.

How:  Church dinner, private homes, rotating hosts, etc. 


Objective 3:   Encourage all members to join a small group with a curriculum which promotes deeper spiritual growth and involvement.

How:  Keep the momentum going with the small group effort that began in the Fall of 2018 – new classes, Discipleship classes, Methodist history, life application.  Provide alternatives to small groups – i.e. online learning resources, suggestions for social media connections, blogs, webinars, etc.

How:  Intentional Discipleship, “A Disciple’s Path”, moving from Membership to Discipleship and accountability groups

Objective 4:  Develop and implement ways to provide communication and connection to all members.**

How:  Review all methods of communication and how to be most effective given the various ways members prefer to receive information – snail mail, email, texts, phone calls, website, social media, etc.

Objective 5:  Encourage members to provide Bethel happenings to the local media.**

How:  Design contact methods for members to forward notices to local news media.


** Cross-over note:  Can be coordinated with Goal #4 Objective 4





Serve the Mission Field


Our ministry should move us from “serve us” to “service” -- from within our congregation all the way to the worldwide mission field.



Objective 1:  Reach out by providing services to church members who are in need of assistance with specific repairs or tasks.


  •         Create a new ministry within the church in order to provide specific services on an as needed basis.
  •         Finding volunteers
  •         Issue a survey to potential volunteers to find out tasks they can provide.


Objective #2:  To become more involved with providing services and meeting the needs of the homeless in Sussex County.


  •         Increase our involvement with the Rehoboth homeless shelter, as well as The Home of the Brave.
  •         To partner with Family Promise in order to provide specific services for the homeless within Sussex County.  This would involve working with Family Promise and neighboring churches in order to create teams of churches (12-15) which would provide services/temporary housing for the homeless on a rotating basis.   


Objective #3:   Partner with Beebe Medical Center to support their volunteer programs by staffing existing programs and initiating new programs.


  •         Create a bank of drivers who are willing to provide transportation for family members who wish to visit patients in the hospital, but do not have a ride, as well as patients who have been discharged and do not have a ride home.
  •         Make to go bags for newborn babies, which could include items such as: diapers, formula, bottles, assorted baby items.
  •         Create a list of volunteers willing to spend time with patients who do not receive visitors, with the purpose of checking in on them, spending time talking to them, reading to them…


Objective #4:   Continue to partner with Habitat for Humanity by offering a team of men and women who participate on a regular basis with “home building/improvement” projects.


Objective #5:  Partner with the Cape Henlopen School District to identify other needs in their school district.



  •         Establish a mentoring program which would involve BUMC volunteers to work with students in the Cape Henlopen School district.



Make Bethel UMC a Praying Church


Provide opportunities for understanding the importance of prayer, by establishing a confidential prayer ministry team.


Objective 1:  Assess and evaluate the church’s prayer level and the congregation’s interest level.

How: [NOTE:  Jane Smith has planned out this process and details can be inserted here later.]

Objective 2:  Offer educational programs centered on Prayer.

How:  Jane Smith and Beverly Porter have agreed to set up opportunities to learn about prayer.

This will be done over the next 6 months:  6/2019 – 11/2019.


Objective 3:  Create a Prayer Ministry Team to coordinate & encourage prayer in every aspect of Bethel UMC’s programs and services.

How:  The programs centered on prayer may touch the hearts of some people to become more

involved in prayer.  Jane Smith and Beverly Porter will set up the Prayer Ministry Team.  This will

be done after the educational programs on prayer have occurred:  1/2020 – 4/2020.


Objective 4:  Create a Prayer Room.

How:  The Prayer Ministry Team will identify possible locations for a Prayer Room, and this will be

presented to the congregation.  This will be done 4/2020 – 9/2020.


Objective 5:  Prayer Ministry Team focuses on how to encourage prayer in every aspect of Bethel life.

     How:  Here are some examples.  On-going:  No completion date.

  •         Sharing stories of answered prayers in the Newsletter and during some services
  •         Promoting the use of prayer resources in the church library and providing links to websites related to prayer.
  •         Initiating a “paired” prayer ministry by pairing members of the Prayer Team to pray for each other and their families, as an example, laying the groundwork for a congregational “paired” prayer ministry.
  •         Designing and printing note cards for team members to use to let others know they are praying for them.
  •         Offering and advertising a quarterly Service of Healing.
  •         Preparing a description of the Prayer Ministry to be shared with the congregation, providing a vehicle for response.
  •         Sending a letter to shut-ins and homebound members to tell them of the Prayer Ministry and deciding on a method to distribute prayer requests to those who respond but do not use email. ** Cross-over note:  See Goal #1, Obj. 4 and Goal #4, Obj. 4
  •         Providing Intercessory Prayer and other on-going training opportunities for the Prayer Team and other interested church members.
  •         By providing increased opportunities for prayer at the Altar Rail during worship services.




Bethel is focused on creating a culture of relationships that matter.



Objective 1:  Offer educational programs centered on the concept of “radical hospitality”

   How:  Hope Ellsworth and Phil Fields will be responsible for setting up this educational program, by                                 9/2019.


Objective 2:  Create a Radical Hospitality Team

   How:  By 10/2019 and after the training, a notice will be included in the church bulletin for several Sundays, to ask for volunteers to be involved in this group. 


Objective 3:  Develop an outward (evangelism) focus into the Cape Region and develop outreach communication

    How:  Here are some examples.  On-going:  No completion date.

  •         Conduct an evaluation of our current methods for inviting, welcoming and following through with visitors.
  •         Develop a significant visitor follow-up initiative.
  •         Personal contact, email and social media
  •         Radio & TV
  •         Utilize the Lobby for a Welcome Center for visitors to get information on services provided and directions to important places in the church.
  •         Establish an appropriate means of identifying visitors for current church attendees to ensure personal contact and to welcome them to Bethel UMC.

Objective 4:  Ensure that we stay in contact with members who cannot attend service or programs.**


  •         Radical Hospitality Team (or designees, like a Member Caring Ministry Team) would develop and update a database of those who can’t get to church and identify ways to help each of these members and stay in touch (i.e. through cards, transportation, help around house, etc.).  This would be completed by 4/2020.
  •         Assess the need and demand for an older adult ministry.

Objective 5: _Recognize and support young parents, providing a welcoming environment for their family to establish and grow their relationship to God.



 ** Cross-over note:  See Goal #1, Objectives 4 & 5