What it means to be a Methodist
One word unique and basic to United Methodism is “connectionalism.” That means simply that all United Methodist leaders and congregations are connected by certain loyalties and commitments that call us to live in covenantal accountability and empower us to be in ministry around the world.
The United Methodist Church, which began as a movement and a loose network of local societies with a mission, grew into one of the most carefully organized and largest denominations in the world. The United Methodist structure and organization was designed to accomplish John Wesley’s goal of spreading “Scriptural holiness” over the land.
United Methodists may be amazed at the many organizational layers of church life, but members of other denominations have been heard to say: “If you want something done, get the United Methodists to do it.” Followers of the Wesleys are indeed “methodical” about their approach to mission and ministry.
One reason United Methodists can do great things is the church’s emphasis on “connectionalism.” Sometimes United Methodist leaders speak of the denomination as “the connection.” This concept has been central to Methodism from its beginning.
No local church is the total body of Christ. Therefore, local United Methodist congregations are bound together by a common task and common governance that reach out into the world.