Connectionalism. What is connectionalism? Well simply put it means that it is the United Methodist Church and not the United Methodist Churches. United Methodists are part of one cohesive faith family. Each local church is part of an Annual Conference of Churches which is part of the national body of United Methodists. Each church contributes to the life of the church in mission and ministry and also through the system of apportionments where each church gives its fair share to the work of the denomination. Everyone contributes to the life of the church so that the sum of the parts is indeed greater than the whole!
Another important part of the connectional system is the itinerancy. United Methodist Clergy are part of an appointment system. The Bishop of the Annual Conference with the aid of her/his cabinet assign pastors to their places of services. This allows the placing people where they are best gifted to serve in places where their gifts are most needed. Yes, this means that women and men who agree to serve in the United Methodist Church agree to accept appointment without reserve and go where the Bishop sends them in ministry. But with that appointment comes the guidance and support of the denomination through the office of the Bishop and District Superintendents.
Because of this connected family of faith church and pastors are not alone without aid support from denominational leaders that have both the responsibility and the authority from the church to lead the church and give it direction.
Rather than sink or swim on their own, United Methodist local churches work together through districts and conferences to support each other and the entire United Methodist family.
I’m sure I could write several more posts about the many reasons I’ve chosen to seek to transfer my credentials to the United Methodist Church. This is just a beginning. But it is a good start. So I’ll move on to some additional topics of interest.