This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2024.
Well, I did something crazy last week. I know, what else is new? However, this one is out of character for me. Any of you who know me knows administration is not my strong suit. I have written multiple columns in this very space on that issue with the most recent one being just a few weeks ago. Even with this being the case, last week, I threw my name and biographical information into the mix to possibly be elected to attend the inaugural meeting of the Global Methodist Church.
Wayne Street disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church last summer and we voted to join the Global Methodist Church effective January 1. That new denomination has risen out of the ashes of a once proud and powerful main line protestant denomination that has begun the process of implosion in recent years.
To the average church attendee, there will not appear to be much change at all. We will still follow Jesus Christ and His calling to transform the world. Really the only two changes is that far less of our money will flow out of our community in denominational dues, and I will likely get to stay in St Marys for a few years longer than I would have otherwise been able to because of how pastors are appointed to churches. You can debate among yourselves whether that is a good or bad thing.
Back to my original point, I have thrown my name into the mix of potential nominees to attend the convening conference of the GMC. It is going to meet from September 20-26, 2024. Leaders from all around the world who have joined the GMC will be there to vote on the doctrine and discipline of this new denomination.
Now you may be wondering where this conference is taking place and that brings me to the point of this article. The conference will be in Costa Rica. That sounds great, until you realize one significant detail. For everyone attending the conference, transportation, and room and board are at the participants’ expense. Would I love to go to Costa Rica? Yes, of course I would. However, this is not an all-expenses paid trip. This will come out of my savings account if Susan and I go.
The reason I threw my hat in the nomination ring is that I am worried about who is going to be there for this conference. I am worried that it will be made up of mostly retired pastors who have time and resources to do this sort of thing. Most pastors who are working in local congregations do not have time or resources to go to an event like this. Which means all of the discussion and voting will be done by people not serving local congregations. That would be a disaster. In fact, this is exactly what got the United Methodist Church and most other mainline denominations in trouble. They had leaders who did not have a local congregation to answer to making decisions. That means that the impact on local churches was not considered when decisions were made because many of the people making the decisions were disconnected from the local church.
Can I afford a trip to Costa Rica? No, I cannot. I am closer to being able to than most people serving local churches because I do not have a family to support. I want the GMC to represent the people of the local churches that make up the denomination and the only way that happens is if local church workers are willing to put themselves out to be at the conference.
My purpose in writing this article is I would appreciate your prayers. The first thing that has to happen is I have to get elected from the pool, and that is a long shot of its own because very few people in the GMC know who I am. However, I did what I tell Wayne Street to do all the time; I put myself out there to see what the Good Lord would do. I trust that if God wants me there to represent local congregations at the GMC conference, then I will get there. However, I want to give God a chance to use me, which is why I submitted my application.
Truth be told, if I am not elected, that would be fine with me. However, as in all things, I want God’s will to be done, not mine. The election of delegates is in March, and I am the longest of long shots, but I was as faithful as I could be.
I just wanted all of you to know that I am practicing what I preach.