The Method of Our Mission
United Methodist Polity & Organization
Laceye C. Warner
Theology shapes who we are and how we organize to transform the world. Especially written for required United Methodist classes, this accessible book uses a Wesleyan theological frame—connection—to help readers understand United Methodism’s polity and organization as the interrelationship of our beliefs, mission, and practice. The book is organized into four parts—United Methodist beliefs, mission, practice, and organization. Polity and organization are primary embodiments of The United Methodist Church. Functional in nature, these aspects of the denomination facilitate our mission to make disciples for the transformation of the world. This book connects denominational governance and organization to our beliefs as well as our mission. A clear understanding of our identity—as Methodists with Wesleyan roots in connection—and our purpose—to make disciples for the transformation of the world—can help students of United Methodism navigate this treacherous landscape as present and future leaders. Warner also addresses the estrangement between theology and institutional structures and practice by framing governance practices and organizational structure within a Wesleyan theology of connection. This approach will assist current and future denominational leaders in understanding their practices of administration and participation in polity as a theological endeavor and key component of their ministries.
This textbook has been updated with changes from the 2016 General Conference.