There Go the Churches

Dec 3, 2022 by

by Mark Tooley, World:

The floodgates are opening, and congregations are leaving the United Methodist Church.

Just days ago, 487 United Methodist churches were approved for disaffiliation from the denomination, bringing the total of ratified exits to 1,314. Hundreds more have already voted to exit and are awaiting final approval. Almost all of them are theologically conservative churches anticipating the denomination’s official and enthusiastic liberalization on LGBTQ issues when its governing General Conference meets in 2024.

By the end of next year (the deadline for exiting with church property) at least 3,000 and possibly 5,000 churches are expected to exit. United Methodism has 30,000 U.S. churches. Denominational agencies are preparing for a 38 percent drop in funding for 2025-2028, which implies an approximate expected membership loss of 2.3 million members from the nearly 6.3 million the denomination had in the United States in 2020. That is not a minor exodus.

Most exiting churches, perhaps 80-90 percent, are expected eventually to join the new Global Methodist Church. On the other hand, White’s Chapel United Methodist Church outside Dallas typically has nearly 6,000 worshippers weekly, making it one of the denomination’s largest. On Nov. 7, 93 percent of 2,505 voting church members resolved to exit United Methodism, surprising many observers, since the church is not known as particularly conservative.

White’s Chapel evidently does not want United Methodist progressivism nor Global Methodism’s conservatism. So the congregation is forming what it calls a “Methodist Collegiate College” “to create a new form of connectionalism — one of shared ministry, equal accountability, and practical governance.” The church wants to retain “Wesleyan Theology” and “Methodist traditions, rites & rituals” while escaping denominational ownership of property, payments to the denomination, appointment of clergy by bishops, and oversight of clergy ordination by the denomination. It hopes to put “people over polity.”

Read here



Related Posts


Share This