I’ve been estimating that at least 25% of United Methodist churches in the Dakotas ready to vote to leave the denomination to become part of the Global Methodist denomination. Another 25% are committed to staying United Methodist. The remaining 50% are undecided or possibly avoiding the decision. I’ve had about dozen pastors (mostly from that first group) reach out to me to talk about what the launch of the Global Methodist denomination means for their church. Here’s the points I tried to make:
- This could be an answered prayer in the Dakotas: With the delay of General Conference and the launch of the Global Methodists, that means the Dakotas gets to decide how we separate…at least until 2024. I’ve often quipped that General Conference has an infinite ability to disappoint so I’m glad the separation is not left up to them.
- Don’t plan on anything changing on May 1: A lot of work has to happen to get the new denomination up and running globally and regionally. I really don’t believe the Global Methodists will be ready to accept United Methodist churches before July 1st…at least not en masse. Local churches and conferences will have a lot of work to do to ensure this happens smoothly. My expectation would be that, at the earliest, churches could take a vote at their regular charge conference to join the Global Methodists as of January 1st, but that might be the accountant in me liking a clean transition. Another wave will likely come in 2023. Others may wait until 2024.
- Dakotas United Methodists want you to succeed: Most of the conversations I’ve had with leaders in the Dakotas UMC have been about making this as painless and cheap as possible to move to the Global Methodist denomination if that better fits their values. These were conversations with people committed to staying in the UMC as well as those planning on leaving. I have hope that if we separate well, there’s a greater possibility for working together in the future. If we separate poorly….
In the video, I go more into depth on the details needing to be decided in the separation as well as what a local church leaders can start doing. Lastly, if your church is part of the 50% of Undecided churches, now is the time to schedule a Values Workshop (link below).
- Dakotas UMC Values Workshop: https://www.dakotasumc.org/about/strategy-team/values-workshop
- Global Methodist Announcement & advice from them: https://wesleyancovenant.podbean.com/e/general-conference-postponement-and-the-launch-of-the-global-methodist-church/
- Dakotas District Superintendent Contact Info: https://www.dakotasumc.org/about/districts