By Pastor Tom Anderson
Want to go to Peoria with me this week? Glen Betts and I will be attending the first ever Great Lakes Annual Conference of the Global Methodist Church at The Cross Roads Church in Washington, Illinois. The event will be live-streamed but the link has not yet been published. You can see an overview of the conference here and a message from our President Pro-Tem Rev. Scott Pattison here.
Our theme is A New Thing based on Isaiah 43:19. We have created a culture and practices which will be decidedly different from our former denomination. We are building a lean organization. It is not a top-down church culture but one driven by laity and local churches. We’ve already created a prayer network of all Global Methodist Churches. Our point person for this at Thrive is Julie Crowl. You’ll be seeing more from her soon about raising up the prayer life of our church.
Our main business this week is to worship and ordain 86 people into the ministry of the Global Methodist Church. Yes, that’s 86, eighty-six! I’ve never seen anything like it. That’s more ordinations than in the last 40 years combined in Michigan. People are responding to God’s call into pastoral ministry like never before.
God is on the move! Rev. Julie Kramer serves in Peck, Michigan, a farm community in the Thumb. Their little church is running 150 every Sunday in three services! The Global Methodist Church in Caseville received a new pastor–the Rev. Josh Johnson. On his first Sunday the church was filled to capacity, including the balcony and with seating added in the fellowship hall. It wasn’t a flash in the pan because the same attendance returned the following two Sundays. Three new Michigan churches have been planted already: Hancock, Plymouth and Saline! This is already more new church starts than we’ve seen in 40 years in our former denomination. God be praised!
Another 49 churches here in Michigan will be joining the Global Methodist Church by the end of this year, bringing the total to well over 100 just in Michigan. These churches–like Thrive–are highly motivated and passionate about the future of the Global Methodist movement. They’ve paid a high price to be a part of God’s new thing. No one is looking back but all are rushing forward to the future God has for his people.
World-wide, the Global Methodist Church will hold its convening General Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. Here’s another new thing: for the first time we are holding a Methodist General Conference outside the boundaries of the United States. We’re going to be a different kind of church–a truly Global Church. We will be joined together by our commitment to a common Biblical faith that is the Methodist, Wesleyan tradition. You can learn more here.
I will be back on Sunday to share with you all the news!