Home Equipping Leaders Stewardship What Local Church Leaders Need to Know about the Recent UMC General Conference

What Local Church Leaders Need to Know about the Recent UMC General Conference

By Ken Sloane

GC 2020 Skyline
(Image by United Methodist Communications. Used with permission.)

This month, you can experience both history in the making and time travel. That’s right! United Methodists from around the world will gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, to conduct the 2020 General Conference that had to be postponed and then canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our church Discipline makes no provision for skipping one of the quadrennial legislative meetings, so we will hold it, well, a little late.

This General Conference also has historic implications, as we have moved through a period of disaffiliation in The United Methodist Church. This process has been painful as well as stressful for local churches and annual conferences across the church. This General Conference session will be a time for our whole denomination to come together and set our sights on the future, on what God is calling The United Methodist Church to be in the years ahead.

Every United Methodist has a stake in this General Conference and can be involved and engaged, thanks to a wealth of resources that are just a click away.

Unfortunately, when much of the secular media reports on our General Conference gatherings, they tend to spotlight our disagreements. Rarely will they report on beautiful worship services, delegates from every corner of the planet participating and celebrating God’s love, and a choir of students from Africa University – a university that is reshaping Africa and wouldn’t exist without the power of the connectional church working together!

If you want people in your pews to better understand how we are connectional and why that empowers your local church to make an impact like Africa University or UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), encourage them to engage with the General Conference as we prepare for it and as it unfolds in Charlotte this month. Inviting your people to see and hear reports of the impact we make around the world can be a way to inspire generosity and see mission shares/apportionments as more than a bill, but an investment in powerful, world-changing work!

Here are some ideas with links with more information:

Follow the United Methodist News Service (UMNews) for updates as we get closer to the opening of the General Conference and bookmark this page.

Ken Sloane is the Director of Stewardship & Generosity for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

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