A new Methodist denomination may be formed in the days ahead through the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. As we anticipate the future, this new Methodist denomination is not forming because something is falling apart, but because something new and improved is coming together. We are entering a new day of a fresh expression of worldwide Methodism.
Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the New Methodist Denomination:
Is there information available regarding what the New Methodist Denomination would look like?
Yes. There are ample resources for you to explore.
- You can read the emerging Doctrines and Disciplines of the New Methodist Church.
- You can see the scope of ministry planning by familiarizing yourself with the work of six ministry task forces for the New Methodist denomination.
- You can subscribe to a weekly podcast covering particulars of the new Methodist denomination available to you.
- There are regular blog posts that serve to give you regular and updated information.
- There are also regional events that are ongoing all over the world.
Will the New Methodist Denomination have Bishops?
Yes! As you examine the new Methodist denomination’s Book of Doctrines and Disciplines, note the extensive description of the office of Bishops in Paragraphs 602 thru 612.
Will the New Methodist Denomination have an Appointment System for assigning Pastors?
Yes! See Paragraph 519 in the Book of Doctrines and Disciplines.
For too many years in United Methodism, there have been numerous examples of Pastors and congregations that were mismatched, often to the demise of the local church. The appointment system needs improvement for a preferred future for a people called Methodists. The New Methodist denomination offers a much-improved approach to matching local churches with Pastors through the proposed appointment system.
Will the New Methodist Denomination stand for Racial and Gender Equality?
Yes! Concerning race and gender please see Paragraphs 520 and 521. People who have committed to being a part of the new Methodist denomination have gone on record crying out for justice wed with decrying the sin of racism. You can read examples here and here.
How will we transition from our present iteration of United Methodism to the New Methodist Denomination?
The birth of the New Methodist Denomination potentially involves millions of Methodists from all over the world. In light of this reality, thought has been given to how we best move into this new day for Methodism. This has led to the formation of the Transitional Leadership Council. You can access information on the Transitional Leadership Council at this link.
If we choose to remain in the present United Methodist Church, will clergy or churches be forced to change policies concerning wedding ceremonies?
The way this question is phrased does not address the real issue. As clergy in the United Methodist Church, we all took vows to uphold the United Methodist Book of Discipline. If the proposed Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace through Separation passes at General Conference 2021, the denominational iteration known as the United Methodist Church will not be the same denomination she has been in the past.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline will change, and the United Methodist denomination will redefine Christian marriage and will begin to officially ordain same sex partnered clergy.
For United Methodist Christians whose convictions will not allow us to redefine marriage, it would be hypocritical for us as clergy or lay-persons to be a part of a future denominational expression that redefines marriage when our conscience cannot support it. A people called Methodist are connectional in nature. We cannot be a part of a connection that adopts what we believe to be heretical teaching that endorses patterns that we believe are in direct conflict with God’s will for humanity, as expressed through Scripture. Thus, we look forward to being a part of birthing a new Methodist denomination.
Where can I go to better understand the issues that brought us to this place in Methodist history?
We recommend a book published not long ago titled, Are We Really Better Together, which covers far more in-depth and broader issues than sexuality regarding why the United Methodist Church needs to create new expressions of Methodism. You can click the hyperlink for ordering information.
Paul Lawler is the Lead-Pastor of Christ Church UMC. He and his wife, MJ, have four children and one daughter-in-law. In addition to serving as a pastor, Paul and his brother, Dallas area businessman Patrick Lawler, founded two Patricia B. Hammonds Homes of Hope for orphans at high risk for human trafficking in Thailand. The homes are operated through the international ministry of the Compassionate Hope Foundation. Paul also serves on the boards of The Wellhouse, The Compassionate Hope Foundation, and the East Lake Initiative. He often tweets Kingdom thoughts at @plawler111.