By Keith Boyette
March 9, 2022
With the announcement that the Global Methodist Church will begin operations on May 1, 2022, many people are asking a variety of questions regarding the new church. In the next several Crossroads, we will be answering questions and providing directions. Next week we will address how clergy and local pastors in The United Methodist Church can move into the Global Methodist Church. Today, however, we will focus on how local churches can join the new church.
The steps for becoming a Global Methodist local church are straightforward. For all local churches wanting to join the new denomination, whether currently United Methodist, from some other denomination, or presently independent, a congregational meeting must be convened. At that meeting professing members can vote to adopt a motion authorizing the local church to become a member congregation of the Global Methodist Church.
Here is the motion to be adopted at the congregational meeting:
“I move that _____________ Church become a member congregation of the Global Methodist Church, that it affirms and endorses the doctrinal standards (Part One), Social Witness (Part Two), and church governance of the Global Methodist Church as set forth in its Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline, and agrees to be accountable to such standards, witness, and governance. Our leadership and trustees are authorized to take all actions necessary to implement this motion.”
The primary lay leadership body of the congregation determines the percentage of votes necessary to support the congregation becoming a member congregation of the new denomination.
Thereafter, the presiding officer of the congregational meeting and its secretary must sign a document (e.g., the minutes of the meeting) setting forth the motion approved and the vote by which it was adopted. This document should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the congregation is not part of an existing denomination, the Global Methodist Church’s Transitional Leadership Council (TLC) will vote on whether to receive the congregation as a member of the new church. Such a congregation becomes a member of the Global Methodist Church with the effective date of its membership being the date of the TLC vote.
If the congregation is part of an existing denomination, the TLC will vote on whether to provisionally receive the congregation as a member of the Global Methodist Church. Once a congregation supplies documentation that it has completed the process of withdrawing from its previous denomination, the TLC will vote to receive the congregation as a member of the Global Methodist Church with the effective date of its membership being the date of the TLC vote.
In a subsequent article, we will address the ways local UM churches can withdraw from their denomination.
There are no fees to be paid to the Global Methodist Church as part of the process of becoming a member congregation. If the congregation is served by a clergyperson who wants to become a member of the new church, and both the congregation and the clergyperson desire to continue in relationship, the appointment will remain the same as the congregation and the pastor join the Global Methodist Church together. If that is not the case, the TLC or its designee will work with the congregation to identify a clergyperson to serve as its pastor.
The process for deploying clergypersons during the period before the Global Methodist Church’s convening General Conference is set forth in paragraphs 509-512 of the Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline.
There will be no trust clause in the Global Methodist Church so each member congregation will hold title to all its property (see paragraph 902 of the Transitional Book of Doctrines and Discipline). The Global Methodist Church is committed to being a connection of the willing, not the constrained.
It is anticipated that congregations will join the new church in waves over the next several years. There is no deadline by which churches must join. All local churches dedicated to making disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly are welcome to join this new Methodist connection.
Rev. Keith Boyette is chairman of the Transitional Leadership Council of the Global Methodist Church. Prior to 2017, he was the founding pastor of Wilderness Community Church in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Since 2017, he has served as President of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.