Circuit Riders: Spreading Scriptural Holiness the Old fashioned Way

(I am clergy member of the GMC. I do not serve in any other official capacity. I am not in regular communication with the Transitional Leadership Council or its staff, have never met them (though some of us may have shared a passing word at a convention), and doubt that any have cause to know my name. This is to say that I do not speak for the GMC. I am a pastor who ministers within its Doctrines and Discipline and I am no more knowledgeable or influential of the deliberations of the governing body than any other pastor can be who pays attention.)
At the beginning of the Global Methodist Church many parishes will move in fully formed by transfer from other denominations. The near future will see denominationally sanctioned new church starts. The GMC is already training church planters and arranging for modest funding. A few church planters are already in the field. However, to serve those who are in areas where the GMC does not yet have a presence, I suggest that each of us consider establishing new Global Methodist communities using Wesley’s circuit rider model. This requires pastors (or gifted and equipped laity) who are not currently serving a congregation and retired pastors to offer themselves for this work. It also requires churches to support and encourage their own pastors, who are already committed to full time parish ministry, as they respond to opportunities within a day’s ride of their parish.
The circuit rider model establishes worship communities wherever at least two or three households will meet. They will be served by a pastor who itinerates on a regular schedule, equips the laity to do the work of the church, and offers the Sacraments. As God leads them, these communities will develop into either parish churches, mission societies, or Methodist classes.
Some members of the new community may choose to remain a member of their home church and participate in its life while availing themselves of the Global Methodist community for intentional Christian growth and authentic Christian mission. Some, who come without having a previous church affiliation, will be received as members of Christ’s body through the local community of the Global Methodist church. Others will want to move their membership from an existing church to the new Global Methodist community and devote themselves entirely to Christian service through that community. When the choice is made for good cause and in good conscience, they will be able to avail themselves of each option from day one.
Three people who can answer the question of Christ, “Who do you say that I am?” are all the numbers and all the treasure needed to start. The community will keep connected to the universal Church through the Global Methodist Church. The circuit rider will not let the new community become isolated from the help of the communion of saints.
The people will designate a place and time for regular meeting. These mission churches will meet in a rented building, a home, a garage, a barn, a brush arbor, a field, or a park. If the new faith community owns the place, then the people will consecrate it. If the community does not own the place, then they will ask God’s blessing for the place and protection for those who allow the gathering—even if they are not of our faith. The community will commit to gathering at the appointed place and time without exception. Our first responsibilities are to worship and to be present for one another. Even in inclement weather, plague, famine, or war someone must be present to welcome any stranger who might come. The greater the disaster the greater the need for the community of Christ. If no one opens the Church at its appointed time it must be because no one can—never because no one will.
Until the Transitional Leadership Council can designate persons for areas not served by the GMC, or the Convening Conference establishes a formal process, I offer myself for this purpose within my area of the country, other clergy will be available as needed. I hope others will do likewise in their geographical area.
If you are in South Carolina or that part of Georgia near Augusta, and if you would like to explore the adventure of being a part of a mission church in the tradition of the Global Methodist Church; then contact me through this website or at I will meet with you at your home, your church, or a public place. All contacts are completely confidential, and I do not publicize meetings unless the host venue chooses to do so. I do not accept compensation or reimbursement.
There is already work taking me through this area.
I will be available in Upstate SC on October 12-16. I am available in the Columbia/Charleston corridor October 19-25. I am frequently available in the area from about 40 miles around Augusta, Georgia to about 40 miles around Orangeburg South Carolina.

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