Apportionments in the Global Methodist Church

Close to 2,000 churches have joined the Global Methodist denomination during it’s first year. Wow! Probably the last thing many of these churches are thinking is, “I wonder how much I owe in denominational dues?” Well, accountants are good at answering questions that no one is asking. In the video, I show exactly how to calculate and pay these dues (called Connectional Funding). If your church is part of a Provisional Annual Conference, I’m not sure if your payment goes to the Conference or the denominational headquarters.

For this post, I want to give you the top three things I like about Connectional Funding and one concern:

#1: It’s cheap!

Global Methodists currently pay only 2% of their income towards Connectional Funding. 1% goes towards the denomination as a whole. The other 1% goes towards their regional conferences. When I compare this to similar denominations (Nazarene, Wesleyan, United Methodist), the Global Methodists are easily the lowest price. If you exclude the pastor benefits, I think the Nazarenes are around 6%, Wesleyans at 10% and United Methodists at about 14%.

#2: It shows trust in the churches

The Global Methodists show trust in two ways. First, they trust the church to calculate their own amount. Second, they trust churches to manage their money wisely.

In a denomination I served in the past, I helped implement a big change to have churches calculate their own denominational dues. Before, it was a complex formula that few fully understood. I remember getting some pushback from pastors that were worried that other churches would cheat in their calculation and pay less than their fair share. My thought was, if we’re worried about our colleagues being cheaters, we have bigger problems.

Many of the Global Methodist churches paid a hefty price to leave the United Methodist denomination and are in a vulnerable place financially. This low 2% for Connectional Funding will provide for the work of the denomination while allowing churches to recover. Most likely this amount will go up in the future to something closer to 4-5%. In a denomination I served in the past, I heard time and time again that you didn’t want to give churches a temporary reduction because then they wouldn’t be able to budget for when the price goes up. I never understood that at the time, but I think it is a lack of trust in the competence of local church leadership. If that’s the concern, we have bigger problems.

#3: A new name

Apportionments, assessments, ministry shares, etc. Denominational dues come by a lot of different names. Some names are worse sounding than others. Am I in love with the name “Connectional Funding?” Not really. It is different though, and doesn’t make me cringe like some of the other names.

A Concern: Where is the money going?

The Global Methodist denomination is just about one year old so my hope is that we’ll see some good year-end financial reports that show us how the money is being used and where it’s coming from. If they would add in some sweet graphs as well, that would help. As the denomination matures, what does financial transparency look like? It’ll be interesting to see.

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