First United Methodist Church
Thursday, August 17, 2017
We are a church beyond walls.

Leadership

The United Methodist Church has many organizational layers of church life and are indeed “methodical” about the ways they approach mission and ministry. One reason United Methodists are able to accomplish great things is the church’s emphasis on “connectionalism.” It is common to hear United Methodist leaders speak of the denomination as “the connection.” This concept has been central to Methodism from its beginning.
 
The United Methodist Church, which began as a movement and a loose network of local societies with a mission, has grown into one of the most carefully organized and largest denominations in the world. The United Methodist structure and organization began as a means of accomplishing the mission of spreading Scriptural Holiness over the land. John Wesley recognized the need for an organized system of communication and accountability and developed what he called the “connexion,” which was an interlocking system of classes, societies, and annual conferences. (UM Member’s Handbook, p 24) No local church is the total body of Christ. Therefore, local United Methodist churches are bound together by a common mission and common governance that accomplish reaching out into the world. United Methodist churches and organizations join in mission with each other and with other denominations.
 
Connectionalism shows through the clergy appointment system, through the developing of mission and ministry that United Methodists do together, and through giving.