From the Supt:
We’ve recently had a number of inquiries to the conference office about what it takes (on our end) for a United Methodist Church to become a Free Methodist Church.
Below is a link to the FMC website with information on affiliation.
Beyond that, a few comments and insights may be helpful.
The UMC is huge in comparison to the FMC, and while our history and polity have much in common, our denominational culture is quite different. We won’t be opening the doors wide to any and all UMC churches wishing to affiliate. It could quickly overwhelm our system and shift the culture away from those things we value.
At the same time, we welcome conversations with churches that truly “fit” with us… understanding that fit is far more than Wesleyan theology and Methodist polity. In our part of the world most of the UMC churches / pastors that I’ve spoken with are far more traditional than the FMC. They assume because our theology is orthodox and evangelical, the FMC is also traditional in methods. In addition, we’ve found that sometimes churches desiring disaffiliation are more defined by what they are against than what they are for. And… UMC pastors are often surprised to learn we have no guaranteed appointments or salary.
As our Genesis churches know, we want to be on the mission of Jesus, to go and make disciples. We want to see people begin relationships with Jesus, connect with others in discipling relationships, worship together, be transformed in both their internal and external lives, and multiply themselves in others.
As a conference, we are committed to looking at new ways and structures to reach our communities for Jesus. Size matters far less than mission. If a church seeking affiliation truly is, or wants to be, on a mission to reach its community, and is willing to change how it does things in order to stay on that mission, it may be a good fit with us. If that’s the case they can reach out to the conference office.