As some of you have experienced, these last 6 months have been the wildest roller coaster I have ever been on. Spiritual highs and emotional lows. I believe I have experienced every emotion imaginable, sometimes all in one day. Making the choice to walk away from the only denomination I have ever known was very difficult. I have spent all but one of my 55 years in the United Methodist Church. I was born and raised in Pelahatchie United Methodist Church. I spent my formative teen years at McLaurin Heights United Methodist Church. I began my walk with Jesus at Camp Wesley Pines (A United Methodist Church Camp) and that was the first place I served in ministry outside my local church. When I walked away from God to do my “own thing” and found myself in the pig pen of life, I went to Asbury United Methodist Church on Hwy 119 to talk and pray with the pastor because it was a United Methodist Church. In 1998, I called the North Alabama Conference of the UMC to find a church that I could serve as a volunteer youth director. Members of Avondale United Methodist Church saw the calling God had put on my life to be a pastor and affirmed that calling for me. When I accepted the call into ministry, there was no question, I would be a United Methodist Pastor. In the United Methodist History and Doctrine class in seminary, I had an incredible epiphany…I was United Methodist because I was born United Methodist, I was United Methodist because I really believed this stuff. I met the love of my life and later got married at Camp Sumatanga (A United Methodist Camp).
I’ve been United Methodist all my life and now, I’m not United Methodist any longer. I have discussed the why many times and I’m not going to rehash the “Why I Left the UMC.” Instead, I want to share Why I Chose the Global Methodist Church.
In 2016, Tim Barnes (My Father-In-Law) and myself attended the first gathering of the Wesley Covenant Association meeting in Chicago, IL and that meeting was like a breath of Holy Spirit air. The only thing I could compare it to was the worship services at Camp Wesley Pines when I first came to know Jesus. There was a holiness that I had not experienced in years and I knew I wanted to be a part of this revival. A time where I am going to make a stand on what I believe based on Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.
As the next several years went by, I worked to stay the course in the UMC but it was a constant battle of trying to row against a theological tsunami that continued to grow and build. I knew that if I was going to stay true to my foundational beliefs, I would have to leave the UMC.
Thankfully, many of my colleguges were in the same row boat with me and the dream of a denomination which focused first and foremost on Holy Scripture and the grace of Jesus Christ was being built. This denomination would be a Weselyan expression fo Christianity. One that would “profess the Christian faith, established on the confession of Jesus as messiah, the Son of God and resurrected Lord of heaven and earth. This confession, expressed by Simon Peter in Matthew 16:16-19 and Acts 2:32 is foundational. It declares Jesus is the unique incarnate Word of God and He lives today, calling all to receive Him as savior, and as the one to whom all authority has been given.” GMC Transitional Book of Doctrine and Discipline
I’m tired of arguing over the relevance of Holy Scripture and the so-called need to adapt Scripture to fit our world context today. Scripture is the Word of God and it cannot be changed to fit our narrative. It is God’s narrative and when we try and make it our narrative, we will be held accountable. I believe the Global Methodist Church will place the highest of emphasis of Scripture being primary as John Wesley did.
I have witnessed churches being held hostage by the Trust Clause in the UMC Discipline. I have seen churches with as few as 6 people in attendance on a Sunday morning being charged thousand if they want to pull out of the UMC with their buildings and property. The dictionary defines the term RANSOM as a consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity. There are hundreds of churches in the NAC that do not want to be United Methodist any longer and yet are being held hostage for a ransom to be released from captivity. This is wrong. The Trust Clause has been weaponized to coerce churches to stay.
The Global Methodist Church is a connection of the willing not the constrained. In short, there is no “trust clause” as there is in some other denominations stating that a local church merely holds property and assets in trust for a general church. Instead, local Global Methodist congregations own all of their property and assets in perpetuity.
The mission of the GMC is perfectly in line with my personal mission that I carry into every church I pastor: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly and witness boldly”. The GMC calls for every pastor and church to join God in a journey of bringing new life, reconciliation and the presence of Christ to all people and to helping each person reflect the character of Christ.
The Global (GMC) has as their MISSIONAL PRIORITIES:
- BIBLICAL TEACHING (We share with all people the WHOLE counsel of God grounded in Scripture.)
- TRANSFORMATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP (Intentional about making, developing, nurturing and deploying disciples of Jesus
- MULTIPLICATION (Disciples are called to make disciples, who in turn make more disciples)
- MINISTRY TO ALL PEOPLE (This is a movement called to serve others so they may know the grace and love of Jesus in their lives. ALL PEOPLE ARE WELCOME)
These are important to me. The world that we live in is chaos and it’s like there has been a building foundation on built on sand and now the earth is quaking. The solid foundation, the bedrock is Jesus Christ. We are all sinners (regardless of our sin) in need of Jesus. I do, you do, we all do. I have been called to the Global Methodist Church and I believe with all my heart that it is the best place for me to live out my call by God to make disciples.
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