Who Are United Methodists?

 

United Methodists are Christians who are connected by our mutual accountability to our Lord Jesus who empowers us to be in ministry together around the world.

A Church of England priest, John Wesley, had a vision for church renewal before the Revolutionary War. Out of this movement has grown one of the most carefully organized and largest denominations in the world. The United Methodist structure and organization was designed to accomplish John Wesley’s goal of spreading “Scriptural holiness” over the land.

Our connectedness means that all local churches are bound together by a common task and common governance that reach around the world. They share the common goal of making disciples for Jesus Christ and reaching the world in ministry together. Our model is found in Ephesians 2:19-21a:

“So then you are members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together.”

Deliberately, The United Methodist Church has no single central office, no archbishop and no pope. This reflects the representative nature of the church’s organization. What principles guide United Methodists?

Our lives are guided by some very simple principles first set down by John Wesley, they are known as the General Rules:

To those following Jesus as disciples it is expected that they should live by these simple principles:

  • Doing no harm, by avoiding every kind of evil.
  • Doing good, by being filled with mercy, and as opportunity affords, by performing good works to all people.
  • Staying faithful to God by public worship, ministry of the Word, receiving the Sacraments, family and private prayer, searching the Scriptures, and fasting.