Celebration Sunday – The Call and Purpose
I’m not going to recap all that we have gone through in the disaffiliation, however it would be foolish of us not to recognize the faithfulness of God in that season. We give Him thanks.
Fifteen months from its launch, the Global Methodist Church continues to grow and mature. Much has occurred in this 15-month period, fueled by an army of dedicated, passionate, committed Christ followers. And we are only just beginning! The numbers only tell part of the story. There are now 3,100 congregations and 3,400 clergy aligned with the GM Church with more added weekly. The Northeast Region just started to be formed two months ago, and we already have 110 churches in the region, and in just a few short months, will be able to start the annual conference.
We join brothers and sisters in congregations all throughout the United States, in every state there are Global Methodist Churches. We join brothers and sisters in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Philippines, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and in parts of Africa. We are a part of the Holy Spirit that has already affected every part of this globe.
More than 100 new GM churches that are being planted around the world. Most are entirely new churches while a few have occurred as the result of local churches not reaching the required vote to disaffiliate. New churches have been planted in the Middle East, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada, the Philippines and throughout the United States.
And more plans are underway to plant new congregations in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as in countless communities across the U.S. A partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary is helping to make church plans possible.
The GMC’s commitment to enhanced biblical teaching and preaching has resulted in the release of our Catechism which helps us to understand, recall, profess, and enjoy the church’s essential teachings.
Work is underway to hold the GM Church’s convening General Conference in the later summer or fall of 2024. The most significant ministry occurs daily in the communities served by GM churches around the world.
May we give thanks for what God has already done in a very short time in the GM Church. But truly, we have not seen anything yet. This is only the being of what God of what desires to do in and through us. This Holy Spirit driven movement allows us to join in the original mission of John Wesley, to spread spiritual holiness across the land.
The mission of the GMC is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.
We are a movement that first summits to the lordship of Jesus Christ, a movement that stands firm on the foundation of faith, unashamed of the Gospel, that recognizes there are people around us who are lost, who need to know the good news of Jesus Christ and invites them into a relationship with Him, teaching them to be disciples.
In the mist of all the lies and false promises that the world provides, God is depending on us to take the light of Christ to every corner of darkness in the world. God is depending on us to demonstrate the ways of Jesus, not the ways of the world, Jesus’ ways that lead to purpose, healing, hope and life. We have a calling to fulfill, to be obedient to, a purpose to fulfill.
What is that calling? What is that purpose? Will we say yes?
37 “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Being the church that God has called us to be, we must first seek together to live out that call. We are to make God the focus, the center of our lives. That means we have to let go of anything in our lives that is greater than God. We can’t love our job more, our position, our things, we can’t love doing church our way more.
If we are going to be the church God calls us to be, we have to live out this call. And if we are going to live out that call, we must love God with everything that we are and everything that we have.
We also have a common purpose. Those who have been called by God and chosen to follow Jesus Christ, our mission is clear. We have one mission. The Great Commission.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We are called to live out a purpose that partners with God in making more disciples and watching God change the world. The work in partnering with God to make disciples of Jesus Christ means that we assist those in the Church to go deeper in their relationship with God and to do whatever it takes to make certain that at least one more person has the chance to know Jesus.
It’s our purpose, our mission. Please understand, that we live our purpose through the power of Jesus Christ and only through the power of Jesus Christ. We will be used by God to complete the mission only when we are fully living out our call to love God first, totally, completely.
The inability to live out our purpose as the church, our struggle to successfully live out the mission is not a result of inadequate programs or ministries, it is not a result of limited resources. Our inability to live out the purpose and complete the mission is not a result due to external factors. It’s not the world’s fault.
Our inability to live out the purpose and the mission is a spiritual problem directly related to the state of our ability to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. If we want to be more affective as the church, then we must become more consistent with living our call as the church.
What’s our call: To love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves. What’s our purpose: To make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of this celebration is to celebrate the new holy movement God is doing in and through our church and community as we are connected to a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church.
Leading up to this celebration, God has asked us to prepare through discussions of baptism and membership. It would be easy to, the week after the celebration, just go back to what we were doing before that service, to act like nothing is different, other than we have a different name and know the connectional church we are a part of has the same theology as we do. That feels great! Now we can relax.
But I’m convinced that is not what God wants us to do. Please hear me when I say this. God is on the move, and we have an opportunity to be a part of it. God is opening a door, a big door, for us to go through and say, “Yes! We get it. We believe in who the ONE TRUE GOD is, He is our Savior and we will live for Him and Him alone!” We have a chance to reconnect with our God and demonstrate to the world His love.
They are looking. They are listening, paying attention. The world has a need and they know it. They just don’t know how to fill it. Many are thirsty and hungry, but are filling that thirst and hunger with so many other things, wrong things, devastating things.
My prayer and hope is that we will all be moved by the Spirit starting now to see the great movement we are a part of; because let me tell you this, when the world gets ugly, and we know it is and it’s getting worse, we know God’s pattern is to be working on something even bigger, something greater than we can image. I believe the Global Methodist Church is a part of that. And what an honor it is to be a part of that.