The Global Methodist Church: These Things I Pray


An amazing development in world Christianity is the formation of the Global Methodist Church. Indeed, this story is one of the most important stories of global and American Christianity in many years.

In the United States alone, there are thousands of Global Methodist churches in all 50 states. But, as the name indicates, it is truly a global movement. Churches in Africa, Europe, Eurasia, and the Philippines have joined this new denomination.

Most of the churches are former United Methodist congregations. These churches desired to affiliate with a new denomination that held to biblical and ethical orthodoxy. Attempts to work within the current United Methodist framework did not prove fruitful. Thus, a new denomination was formed on May 1, 2022.

This new denomination could potentially become one of the largest church groups in America and the world as more churches join Global Methodists. It is something we are watching closely at Church Answers.

My team and I have worked with a number of Global Methodist churches thus far. Based on our involvement with these congregations, we are encouraged. Yet we know that the Global Methodist Church will have challenges and moments of discouragements. Such is the nature of any new movement of this magnitude.

Though I am but a person on the sidelines watching this denomination form, I am vitally interested in it for the sake of the Kingdom. In that light, I offer these few prayers for your present and future. These things I pray:

    • I pray that you will look forward and not backwards. It is tempting, I am sure, to focus on the reasons you left another denomination instead of focusing on God’s future. I am encouraged to hear from many Global Methodist pastors and leaders who have a clear and exciting vision for your future. May that be your posture and trajectory.
    • I pray that your denomination, churches, and members will rekindle the fire of evangelism. I love that a key part of your mission is to “witness boldly.” Methodism, from a human perspective, was born through the work of John Wesley. His passion for proclaiming the gospel was clear and convicting. I love that you affirm your gospel witness must be “bold, compelling and fearless.”
    • I pray that each church and every member will see the Global Methodist Church as a God-given opportunity to attempt new and great things for His glory. In that light, I pray that the thousands of churches and her leaders will fight the temptation to be a 2.0 version of your past. It is a great opportunity to test and explore the new wineskins God has given you.
    • I pray that you will do the work of the Kingdom in unity. You have made many decisions as a denomination thus far. You have many yet to make. In a movement the magnitude of Global Methodists, you will not always agree. Not everyone can have their own choices. I pray that you will keep focused on the main issues and remain in unity as the world looks on.
    • I pray that you will have courage. You have demonstrated courage thus far, but the challenges have just begun. Remind your churches and church members of the words of God to the people of Israel as they awaited to enter a new and largely unknown land: “This is my command – be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NLT).

I know that many Christians around the world are praying for you Global Methodists. Count me among them. I often turn to the words of John Wesley himself for inspiration. One of my favorite quotes by Wesley is one of his shortest: “You have one business on earth – to save souls.”

I can’t wait to see the Global Methodist Church carry out the business of God on earth. 

These things I do indeed pray.

Posted on January 29, 2024

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • Sara Shaver says on

    As a self proclaimed bystander I think you should refrain from judgmental statements as the GMC is “a new denomination that held to biblical and ethical orthodoxy. “ The UMC has and continues to do the same. In fact, our Discipline is stricter now than ever and yet we have been accused by GMC as unbiblical and unethical? Your post today was prejudicial and I am disappointed in your decision to publish it

    • I disagree with you, I’m glad Thom decided to post this. I felt your comment was more prejudicial than the post. To me the line about ‘GMC is “a new denomination that held to biblical and ethical orthodoxy.“ ‘ was a factual statement to and about those churches that left the UMC and joined the GMC.

      I understand that we may have different views about the biblical portion of the LGBT position and it is a complex issue so I’m willing to agree that we may disagree on that. As Robin noted it was also becoming too political to even discuss our differences of opinion in regards to that. I hope that we can put the political part of this aside and as family members of the church and body parts of the bride we can get back to iron sharpening iron and all of us becoming better at loving our neighbors even when we disagree.

      If you have a stricter discipline it does you no good if those in authority are not going to abide by it and the ways of recourse are being blocked. I think the accusation regarding ethical orthodoxy portion is a fair assesmment, not of the whole UMC, but a growing portion of it that refuses to abide by the book of discipline. I was a minority in a conference that was very willing to forego any discipline and was ordaining clergy who should not have been based on the book of discipline. That conference also has had several bishops in a row now that would disregard any complaint and not act on it thus blocking the judicial process. Coupled with the fact that a bishop is appointed for life and not a term seems to lead to a power structure that was making the issue bigger as time passed. Recently the Western Jurisdiction also went against the book of discipline electing an openly gay bishop. Maybe you are in a part of the UMC where this was not happening, but for those of us where this was it was part of our decision and very much an ethical failing of the leadership.

  • Robin Jordan says on

    I am personally taking a wait and see attitude toward the Global Methodist Church, based upon what I know about a number of the factors driving the split and my own observations of the different church networks which formed from the congregations that split from the Episcopal Church. The refusal of the more progressive annual conferences in the United Methodist Church to comply with the denomination’s ban on practicing LBGTQIA+ clergy and same sex marriages was not the only factor which caused clergy and congregations to disaffiliate from the UMC. There was also the desire for more independence and local control, the apportionments congregations were expected to pay, and the intensified political polarization of recent years. The churches which disaffiliated from the UMC are disproprtionately white and located in the South and the South West. Considerable misinformation and disinformation has been spread related to the direction of the UMC. Several theological statements made by the GMC depart from the Evangelical Arminianism that has characterized the Wesleyan tradition.

    From what I gather,only roughly half of the disaffiliated churches have joined the GBC. Of those that have not joined the GMC, some have chosen to join other Wesleyan denominations such as the Free Methodist Church and the Congregational Methodist Church; others have chosen to become non-denominational. One gets the impression that a number of the latter chose to become non-denomination because they have heard and read that non-denominational churches are doing better than denominational ones and they see becoming non-denominational as a quick fix for their ills–poor attendance, aging congregation, etc.

    Add to this picture that the plan under which the churches left was intended not to facilitate the departure of conservative Methodists from the UMC but progressive Methodists. By choosing to leave,the conservative Methodists are actually enabling progressive Methodists to advance their agenda. They share the blame for the direction that the UMC may take in the future. .

    The pastors of the GMC churches may have a bold vision for their churches. But as military historians will tell you, it is not the generals who win campaigns. It is the boots on the ground.

    What I observed in other breakaway churches like the Continuing Angican Churches, the Anglican Mission in America, and the Anglican Church in North America is that if a congregation does not have churchplanting and evangelism in its DNA when it breaks away, it will not acquire it after it breaks away. This lack of churchplanting and evangelistic DNA has been a serious problem for the Continuing Anglican Churches, it hampered the growth of the AMIA, and it is doing the same to the growth of the ACNA.

    Another factor which has interfered with the growth of these breakaway churches is that they have no positive focus. They are known for what they are against and not for what they are for. Congregations tend to see themselves as safehavens from what they perceive to be undesirable changes in society. Consequently, they tend to be inward-looking rather than outward-looking.

    The GMC pastors may be optimistic but as a longtime observer of developments in the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Methodist Church, and a number of other mainline demonations and the churches that broke away from these churches, I do not share their optimism.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Robin –

      Your comments are always well-thought, and you are fair in your assessments. I appreciate the perspective you bring to this matter. I do remain optimistic and hopeful about Global Methodists. But I admittedly do not have the breadth of perspective that you and others bring.

    • Sara Shaver says on

      Well said! As a UMC pastor I am grateful for your unbiased comments

  • Thom:

    As a 60 yr old Baptist daddy of a gay daughter, now happily married to her lesbian partner for more than 3 years, my heart grieves over this entire movement. As the pastor of dozens of kids (( now adulting )) who have come out, are trying their best to find Christ in their church families of origin and are becoming increasingly ostracized and rejected — I’m grieved, and yes — angry. Like, righteous holy anger kind of angry.

    But, I am walking through therapy, counseling, and now more fruitful connection to dear United Methodist siblings and pastors who are helping me to more freely love, forgive, and walk in humility — despite decades of wounded places deep in my heart.

    And, a new grand baby girl was delivered to us last December 2022 — so there’s a dose of Grace and Joy in the midst of all this chaos.

    I truly love my GCM siblings and even my SBC siblings who cannot seem to reciprocate the Love. Praying for Us ALL … that somehow, Love will find the Way. It’s all about LOVE anyway.

    Blessings Thom … and thanks for all you are doing.

  • John W Carlton says on

    I had the opportunity to serve A UMC church for 3 years functioning as an Associate Minister in Music. I was tempted to go with them, but I would have been limited because I felt that Good was leading me into the Pastorate. One of my mentors told me that I needed to find a Baptist congregation to pastor. A door of opportunity opened. I am praying for an awakening in the Global movement as well as our own SBC.