Why and How of WMU

Explaining WMU to new generations is a never ending task. Long before Simon Sinek wrote “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” WMU was producing resources that explained the why of WMU and how to carry out the work.

With the recent adoption of a revised WMU Base Design that includes Royal Ambassadors and Challengers in the WMU family, it is time to write a new guide to WMU.  I ask for your prayers in completing this task by March 1.  The new guide (yet to be named) will be available in June in time for the national WMU meeting.

Though my writing goal is to write an inspirational introduction to WMU that will result in starting and strengthening WMU work in churches, the real goal is the glory of God.   When WMU is effective, more people are involved in missions learning, praying, giving and going, resulting in more people coming to know Christ as Savior, which is the ultimate goal of our work.

My desired outcome for the guide itself is that the reader will identify personally with the mission of God and WMU objectives, understand how to start and carry out WMU work in the church, and have a brief overview in the WMU family of organizations. Only with God’s help can this be achieved in a brief booklet.  I’ve discovered that it is much more difficult to be succinct than to write pages and pages.

In getting started, it has been interesting to look back at attempts to explain the why and how of WMU across the years.  Juliette Mather, Young People’s Secretary of WMU, SBC wrote “Telling You How” in 1928 which included “Talks with Counselors of WMU Organizations, Sunbeam Bands, Girls’ Auxiliaries, Royal Ambassador Chapters, and Young Women’s Auxiliaries.”  The same year Wilma Bucy wrote “Why and How of Woman’s Missionary Union” and later “The New Why and How” in 1934. 

My favorite is a little volume by Alma Hunt simply entitled “Woman’s Missionary Union.”  It has no date but in the introduction she says, “My purpose in writing this book, authorized by the Executive Board of Woman’s Missionary Union, is to provide a simple book which will give understanding of the work of Woman’s Missionary Union, its place in the Convention and in the churches.  I have attempted to show that while methods and materials have gone through a process of change and development, the missionary education purpose of WMU remains unchanged.”

Alma Hunt’s purpose still stands, though her book was not written as a manual, but rather as an introduction to WMU.  To both introduce and provide some practical suggestions is the challenge ahead. The ongoing need for an environment in which people can see “the big picture” of missions in our communities, associations, state convention, and denomination, and then respond to God’s call makes the work of WMU all the more important. 

I ask for your prayers in this endeavor.

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About Joy Bolton

Joy Bolton is a life-long WMUer! Through Woman's Missionary Union, Joy has has served as a church, association, and state leader. She has coordinated many international missions teams and is available as a conference leader, speaker, Bible study leader. Joy is now retired and lives in Summerville, SC.