by Bob Phillips
Seven Reasons to Align with the Global Methodist Church
(IF a move from the UMC is discerned as God’s will)
As the Global Methodist Church forms as a new Spirit-inspired invention and the United Methodist Church moves forward as a Spirit-nudged re-invention, one process is crucial to the integrity and faithful outcome of the journey for any church. Discerning who and what the local congregation is, what is its spiritual DNA, what is its deep-dive identity and core beliefs and values? Where congregational consensus exists on these major questions of essence, secondary questions are most likely to find answers rooted in God’s will. Thus, UM churches that stay with the legacy church will do so not out of fear of change or inertia but with a revived and focused passion for Christ. Churches that depart the UMC will do so not primarily to leave or to reject but to move toward a constructive, Christ-centered future.
Churches that discern that the pending future direction of the UMC in ‘interpretation’ of doctrine, priorities, and shifts in moral understandings are not a train they wish to ride can exit to the Global church, to a sister Wesleyan evangelical denomination or for independent status. I offer, for churches planning to disaffiliate but unsure as to the best direction, seven reasons to consider the GMC, especially when compared to independent status.
- The GMC embraces, nurtures and proclaims evangelical Wesleyan Christianity. The straight gospel, discipleship, and Spirit-filled personal and social holiness all are priorities.
- The GMC practices a vigorous and grace-filled accountability to empower discipleship.
- The GMC affirms the full roles and ministries of women, pulpit included.
- The GMC affirms faithful prophetic ministry in the Wesleyan spirit in addressing social, political and economic sins. Jesus is the captive of no one nation or class, but the Redeemer and Lord of every nation and class.
- The GMC has a Wesleyan connectional approach to pastors that helps prevent congregations from becoming extensions of the charismatic/popular pastor’s personality, in which NO pastoral leadership is simply passed along to the children of Rev. Popular.
- The GMC aligns without apology with the authority of the great historic creeds and witness of the Spirit through the living tradition of the universal church.
- The GMC affirms realistic and rigorous standards for the full education and training of clergy. Loving God with all one’s mind is reflected in the Wesleyan saying, “Knowledge and vital piety.” Education and science are not enemies, nor merely ‘suspicious’ friends.
Chair WCA, Illinois Great Rivers Conference
Degrees from University of Illinois, Asbury and Princeton Seminaries, University of St. Andrews
Graduate of Senior Executive Seminar on Morality, Ethics and Public Policy, Brookings Institution
Captain, Chaplain Corps, US Navy (ret)
See Bob’s work on Methodist Mitosis in Methodist Review.