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An Open Letter to the Members of
THE WOODLANDS METHODIST CHURCH
April 16, 2023
As we endeavor to live and lead as pastors in ministry at The Woodlands Methodist Church, we do so faithfully in its mission to Reach People for Jesus Christ, Disciple Them in Faith and Help Those in Need. This statement has served as a persistent reminder of our church’s core purpose for the last 45 years. Most recently, it served as one of six non-negotiable standards by which we discerned the options for future denominational affiliation following our congregation’s departure from The United Methodist Church in 2022: Mission, Theology, Operations, Culture, Community and Vision.
Throughout our season of transitional independence, we have held in highest regard the Wesleyan ideals of scriptural authority, justification and sanctification through the means of grace, the regular practice of Christian discipleship, and service to others in the name of Jesus Christ. Moreover, we seek to establish formal ties with like-minded, like-hearted, traditional Wesleyan Methodists who share these ideals in faith and practice, and to whom we can become fully accountable.
Working in partnership with the denominational discernment leadership team, we have conducted rigorous comparisons of all viable affiliation options so we may once again join a traditional Wesleyan connection of clergy and congregations. It is our sincere desire to advance the mission of The Woodlands Methodist Church to the fullest and broadest extent possible. Using the discernment criteria listed above, we narrowed our consideration of options to independent Methodist networks and the Global Methodist Church.
Through deep study, contemplation and prayer, we have discovered opportunities to contribute greatly to the development and expansion of the new Methodism. Operationally, The Woodlands Methodist Church can contribute to the areas of leadership, systems formation and resource development. In the areas of ministry, we see ways to multiply our church’s activities in Christian discipleship, NextGen leadership development, Missions outreach and Church planting.
We have concluded these contributions are too numerous and too broad to fit an independent network model where the senior pastor is the sole link between churches, which offers a very informal level of engagement. Further, as a 15-member clergy team, we seek broad ministry involvement at every level and on a worldwide scale.
For these reasons, we believe the mission and vision of The Woodlands Methodist Church most closely align with that of the Global Methodist Church, and we join the denominational discernment leadership team and The Woodlands Methodist Church Board of Trustees in recommending affiliation with the Global Methodist Church to members of our congregation.
Acting together in the unity of faith, we will stand with you, the lay members of our church, at the time of your congregational vote to join the Global Methodist Church following Vision Night on Sunday, May 7, 2023. We actively encourage members of The Woodlands Methodist Church to affirm our recommendation.
May we offer ourselves again as God’s servants to reach a broken world with the redeeming love of Jesus Christ, and may we faithfully endeavor for His Kingdom in partnership with the Global Methodist Church now and in all our days to come.
In His Grace,