Sacraments and Mission

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The Global Methodist Church is gearing up for its Convening Conference in September, and it is set to be a time of exciting new things of God. One part of that process is the opportunity to propose changes for consideration in the Book of Doctrine and Discipline that will guide our shared life together as a body of believers.

Traditionally, Methodists have held to the Catholic, Anglican and other episcopal-style church practice of reserving the authority to administer sacraments for ordained clergy. However, time and money needed to pursue ordination, especially in the Western church, have increased dramatically over time. Moreover, the church looks to Matthew 28:18-20 as a command and commission given to every believers to go and make disciples. This command includes a call to baptize those disciples in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It also includes the call to teach those disciples to obey all Christ’s commands, including the one given at the Last Supper to practice communion in remembrance of Him.

As a missional church, seeking to empower every brother and sister in Christ, whether laity or clergy, the GMC must assure its adherence to tradition does not contradict the commands of Scripture nor hinder the work of spreading the gospel. At the same time, the GMC has a uniquely Wesley understanding of the significance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper that should be understood and lead to practicing these sacraments with reverence and expectation of encountering the Holy Spirit. To harmonize these two needs, I would like to submit the petition below to for consideration at the General Conference in September. Petitions submitted by individuals require 10 signatures of professing members of the Global Methodist Church. If you would be interested in supporting this petition as written, please email me your first and last name and the email address your would like them to use to verify your membership status and support of the petition. And please feel free to share if there is anyone you know who might be interested in supporting, and praying over the deliberations over the petition moving forward. Be blessed and be a blessing!

Note: Underlines are added text to the present paragraph, strikethroughs are deletions to the present paragraph.

Petition on Sacramental Authority

Petition Rationale

Matt. 28:19 calls all Christians to go and make disciples, baptizing them. Christ commands believers to practice Communion. The GMC has a missional, practical theology and must be consistent in empowering disciples for obedience and disciple-making in every context. We cannot use Matt. 28:19 to commission, then forbid laity to baptize and practice communion. But, any who administer the sacraments should be equipped to teach new disciples their significance in Wesleyan teaching.

Petition Text

¶ 313. SACRAMENTAL AUTHORITY. During the English Reformation, the church was defined as the community where the pure Word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered (Methodist Articles of Religion XIII). The Global Methodist Church seeks to honor this history and be faithful to the commands of Scripture. In keeping with the historic practice of the Christian church, Elders are ordained to oversee the Sacramental life of the church and thus have full authority and responsibility to preside at celebrations of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. In recognition of The Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20) given to every believer and the missional nature of the Global Methodist Church, Bishops may extend Sacramental authority to Deacons and laity who have been commissioned to administer sacraments upon completion of training in the Wesleyan doctrine of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Such sacramental authority appointed to the office of pastor in a local church or to another specialized ministry setting for the purpose of celebrating the Sacraments. Such Sacramental authority for a Deacon is limited to the appointed ministry setting and is exercised under the oversight and authority of a presiding elder.

The Bishops will provide a uniform training and commissioning process for lay members in good standing with the Global Methodist Church wishing to fulfill a calling to administer the sacraments in the diversity of their ministry contexts.


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