What is Methodism? 

 

The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission

It does this through:

WORSHIP
LEARNING & CARING
SERVICE
EVANGELISM
 

Worship


The Church exists to increase awareness of God's presence and to celebrate God's love
 

  • What helps us to centre our worship on God?
  • Where and when do we feel the presence of God? How can these experiences enrich services of worship?
  • What motivates us to study the Bible?
  • What helps us to express awe and wonder, thankfulness and praise, and love towards God? How can we use resources from the worldwide Church?
  • What would help our worship to make sense to people who come only occasionally?
  • Can we improve the comfort and decor of our surroundings and the welcome for people with disabilities?
  • Is our worship much the same all the time? Should we explore styles and traditions of worship from other denominations and other parts of the world?
  • What are our plans and targets for improving our worship over the next year?
       
Learning & Caring


The Church exists to help people to grow and learn as Christians, through mutual support and care
 

  • What church activities help us most to deepen our faith in God?
  • How effective are our small groups, in linking faith to everyday life?
  • How do we learn about the challenges of Christian life today from churches elsewhere in Britain and the wider world?
  • Are there peripheral activities we should stop, to make time for our training and learning needs?
  • What activities make it easy for others to join us? What links do we have with groups using our premises?
  • What do we expect from our pastors? What do we expect from one another by way of support and care? Do we notice or care about those who drift away or leave?
  • What are our plans and targets for developing our life together over the next year?
 
Service


The Church exists to be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice

  • How do we discover the needs in our community and respond to them?
  • Who is involved in service to the community through charities or community groups? Are there opportunities for more of us to become involved? How do we give attention to the moral issues raised by daily work?
  • Do we share with one another our concerns about things which do not seem right, or cause trouble in our community, or appear unjust? How do we challenge injustice in other parts of the world?
  • Are we making the best use of our premises and our money for service to the community? Are we wasting resources? Are we spending our time and resources in ways which are consistent with our beliefs and values?
  • How does the life of our community, and our involvement in it, feature in the prayers of the church?
  • What are our plans and targets for improving our community involvement over the next year?
 

Evangelism


The Church exists to make more followers of Jesus Christ

  • How do we develop friendly attitudes towards everyone we meet?
  • Do we have a clear message? Are the words we use straightforward and meaningful to those outside the Church?
  • What attracts others to the Christian faith? Are there initiatives we could take to present our convictions? Can we do this with Christians of other denominations? Where should the focus be - on church premises, or in the community?
  • How can we learn about effective witness from Christians in other cultures?
  • What can we do to make our premises more welcoming?
  • Should we consider planting a new congregation in this locality?


In partnership with others wherever possible, the Methodist Church will concentrate its prayers, resources, imagination and commitments on this priority:
 
  • To proclaim and affirm its conviction of God's love in Christ, for us and for all the world; and renew confidence in God's presence and action in the world and in the Church
  • As ways towards realising this priority, the Methodist Church will give particular attention to the following:
  • Underpinning everything we do with God-centred worship and prayer
  • Supporting community development and action for justice, especially among the most deprived and poor - in Britain and worldwide
  • Developing confidence in evangelism and in the capacity to speak of God and faith in ways that make sense to all involved
  • Encouraging fresh ways of being Church
  • Nurturing a culture in the Church which is people-centred and flexible
 
Structure

The Methodist Church is still organised in a methodical way using many of the structures introduced by its founder, John Wesley. However, the Church is quite pragmatic, and is willing to make changes where they seem desirable. 

Structures are there to enable decision making that takes account of all concerns and views within the Church. No one is given supreme authority - consultation is vital. At the same time, churches cannot simply arrange their own affairs, but have some shared disciplines and ways of working.
 
The Connexion

Methodists are linked together in a 'Connexion' of churches, circuits and districts.
 
The local church 

The local church is the congregational place of worship, where Methodist members and attenders are nurtured.
 
The circuit

A circuit is a group of local churches, served by a team of local preachers and ministers including the superintendent minister.
 
The district 

The district serves a geographical group of circuits and is led by the district chair.
 
The Conference

The annual Methodist Conference meets in different places and is the supreme decision making body of the Church. At the start of Conference a new President and Vice-President are appointed to preside over that Conference and spend the year travelling around the Connexion, and abroad representing the Methodist Church.