As we read stories of congregations leaving the denomination either to join the Global Methodist Church or become independent, it’s only natural to feel anxious about the future of The United Methodist Church. What will the future UMC look like? How will my congregation be affected? Will I still feel like I belong? These may be some of the questions your congregation is asking itself right now.
As we think ahead, we need to look back and remember our roots and shared principles that have always defined us as a denomination. The UMC will continue to be a biblical, diverse, inclusive and Spirit-filled denomination grounded in scripture and of teachings of Jesus Christ. We will continue to be a global and connectional church committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We will continue to seek justice in every corner of the world and all levels of society. We will continue to experience God through our prayers, worship and other acts of faithfulness.
United Methodist Communications has created a special presentation called We are the church. Together that will remind congregations of their identity as United Methodists while also inviting them to have constructive conversations about what they hope the future will bring, both for The UMC as a whole and their congregation. The presentation is built around the following themes from the #BeUMC Campaign.
- Making Disciples
- Belonging & Inclusion
- Influence, Connection and Impact
- Experience of God Through The UMC
The section on each theme includes examples, readings from scripture, excerpts from The Book of Discipline and group discussion questions. You can also personalize the presentation to fit your unique ministry context.
Other recommended resources
As your congregation thinks about the future, you may wish to consult some other helpful resources from UMCOM and other United Methodist entities.
The #BeUMC campaign reminds us of who we are at our best. As people of God called The United Methodist Church, we’re faithful followers of Jesus seeking to make the world a better place. You can get inspired by seeing the stories of fellow United Methodists celebrating identity here or look up the hashtag #BeUMC on social media. You can also find media graphics or helpful teaching tools.
Learn about the history of pass divisions and reunifications within Methodist history with this free course from Archives and History. This six-part course can function as an individual study, a small group, or a congregational study. Each week begins with an opening prayer and scripture followed by a dive into the history and context of a split, separation, or reconciliation.
Ask the UMC seeks to address many of the misconceptions and misinformation people have of The United Methodist Church. This resource will help you answer the burning questions your congregants may have about the future of the denomination. You can also submit additional questions you may have to [email protected].
This State of the Church Report describes how The United Methodist Church, over this past year, has sought to better define its missional and theological identity. Hear stories and learn about some of the ways United Methodists continue to live out their identity.
The Book of Discipline contains helpful foundational resources such as the Constitution, the Articles of Religion and Wesley’s General Rules. You can access a free online edition at Cokesbury.
For more than 80 years, United Methodist Communications has been leading the church in telling inspirational stories of God’s work in the world through The United Methodist Church, reaching new people, supporting local churches in vibrant communications ministry, equipping leaders and delivering messages of hope and healing. This essential work requires financial support. If you believe in our mission, consider a tax-deductible donation to the work of United Methodist Communications through its Foundation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.