By Walter Fenton
March 23, 2022
Perhaps the easiest and safest posture to adopt about any new venture is a cynical pose. We all know there are plenty of reasons to adopt it. Selfishness, duplicity, and hypocrisy undermine trust and deflate our confidence in one another. And any Christian who has seriously read and studied Scripture knows it is filled with stories galore testifying to the harsh, and even brutal realities of this life. They constantly remind us of our sinful natures, and so wisely chasten our expectations of ourselves and any joint ventures we undertake.
We can never, even if we tried, forget the destructive power of sin in our lives. And yet, we cling to the sure hope that God, in Christ, is for us. So however faltering and flawed the ventures are that we embark upon together, we go forward in faith. We even have the holy and frightening audacity to believe God is calling us to new ventures. So we pray, and think, and feel our way forward. We do so with humility, hope and joy, even as we acknowledge challenges always lie ahead.
Over a thousand people have given significant time and talent discerning God’s will for the new venture called the Global Methodist Church. Thousands of others have expressed their heart and passion for the venture by giving sacrificially to its formation. And now thousands want to know how they too can join it, even if they have to clamor over obstacles to get to it. So what are the hopes and aspirations of the people called to the Global Methodist Church?
Steeped in the warm hearted, Methodist movement started by John and Charles Wesley, the Global Methodist Church seeks to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly. The church believes it has good news to share with people around the world – news of a Savior called Jesus sent by God to cancel the power of sin in our lives and give us eternal life with God.
With our Methodist founders, the Global Methodist Church is committed to spreading Scriptural Christianity around the world. The church longs to share the whole counsel of God grounded in Scripture, and we advance the presence and fulfillment of the Kingdom of God in every part of the world through sound biblical teaching and preaching.
The Global Methodist Church also believes people have a deep desire to know the Truth, and to devote themselves to it wholeheartedly. The church believes Jesus is the Truth, and he calls us to be his disciples. Through Christ’s infinite grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are free to walk the path of joyful obedience to God’s calling on our lives. We walk together as Jesus’ disciples. And in doing so we challenge one another to give our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies to the endeavor of growing in the faith. All of the church’s members – from the very young to the very old – are called to participate in classes to study Scripture, learn about the richness of the Christian faith, and learn ways to winsomely share it with others.
From its inception, the Methodist movement embraced the importance and power of small groups where people engaged in accountable discipleship. The Global Methodist Church is strongly committed to this method for growing faithful disciples. Therefore it calls its members to robust, life-long faith formation—faith formation that involves participation in small groups where disciples hold one another accountable with truth and grace, as they continue to grow as Jesus’ joyful and obedient disciples.
Inspired by Jesus’ teachings and parables, the Global Methodist Church also takes seriously his challenge to multiply his followers. The church is committed to seeing the life of Jesus reproduced in each person who chooses to follow him. Disciples are called to make disciples, who in turn make more disciples. And churches are challenged to plant churches, that in turn plant new ones. Disciples and churches are called to grow God’s kingdom through multiplication.
By virtue of its very name the Global Methodist Church is a diverse church where all God’s people – whatever their color, culture, ethnicity, or nationality – are warmly welcomed. It is a body that recognizes and deploys the gifts and contributions of each part of the church, working as partners in the Gospel with equal voice and leadership. Its witness to the world is marked by mutual love, concern, sharing, and a focus on those who are most vulnerable. Its members watch over one another in love and bear witness to the transforming power of the Gospel as we humbly, but boldly, strive to serve others as ambassadors of Christ!
Finally, the Global Methodist Church celebrates and deploys the gifts and contributions of each part of the church, working as partners in the Gospel with equal voice and leadership. It intentionally connects local churches from different regions of the world who develop mutually rewarding relationships to share the Gospel and to grow His Kingdom globally.
To be sure, the hopes and aspirations of the Global Methodist Church are lofty. How could they not be when we consider who has called us and what he has called us to do. We serve with our eyes wide open, acknowledging the destructive nature of evil in our world. And yet we are tenaciously committed to the Christ who has delivered us from our slavery to sin and liberated us to serve with the hope that we might be found to be his faithful and joyful disciples.
The Rev. Walter Fenton serves as the secretary for the Transitional Leadership Council.
East Ohio WCA is not affiliated with the East Ohio UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.
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