Working with the Free Methodist Church
Our Mission Statement
Sometimes congregations established outside the Free Methodist Church enquire about the possibility of linking up with us. In the past different reasons have been given. Some are new or independent congregations who are looking for a “spiritual covering”. Others believe that God is calling them to join the Free Methodist Church as we work together “to reopen the paths and wells of righteousness that John Wesley once forged and opened.”
We believe these enquiries, which come from churches in different parts of the country, reflect a desire on the heart of God to build His church and link individual congregations together in a growing family. To respond to these enquiries the Free Methodist Church has begun to develop new paths to enable us to work together more closely.
Existing congregations may enter the Free Methodist Church as Affiliate congregations. Affiliation is seen as a step towards full participation in the ministry of the Free Methodist Church.
For practical reasons we suggest the following stages:-
Stage One - The Contact Stage
b) The initial contact should be followed by personal contacts where leaders meet together and participate in worship services etc.
c) After these initial contacts member(s) of the National Leadership Team on the one hand and the leaders of the enquiring Church on the other hand need to decide whether to move into stage two.
Stage Two – The Exploration Stage
a) We will consider our separate histories.
b) We will review our doctrinal perspectives. Where possible copies of doctrine and polity will be exchanged.
c) Our leadership structures will be considered.
d) If there is another Free Methodist Church in the area it will be informed. We will, wherever possible, seek to build a relationship between the existing and the new.
e) Member(s) of the National Leadership Team will write a report to send to the area Bishop and the Ministerial Board. The report will include the above issues and conclude with a recommendation.
Stage Three – The Affiliation Stage
b) The affiliation agreement will contain commitments made by the Free Methodist Church and the Affiliate Church.
c) As far as the Free Methodist Church is concerned the decision to affiliate a congregation will be taken by the National Leadership Team with the agreement of the Ministerial Board.
d) The normal duration of affiliation is three years.
e) At the end of that time the Affiliate Congregation would have three options: terminate the Affiliate relationship, request an extension of time to develop relationship or become a full Free Methodist Society.
Affiliation enquiries from UK churches are welcome, please click the Contact Us button.