What Methodists Believe

At our best…We embrace God’s grace.

God loves us completely before we know it. That love, that grace, is a free gift offered to all people. We accept God’s free gift of love through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ and open ourselves to the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, who accompanies us and empowers us to become like Christ for the world. One God creates in love, saves us for the sake of love, and renews us through love.

 We follow three simple rules. These General Rules have governed Methodists from the beginning of the movement:

  • first – do no harm by thought, word, or action;
  • second – do all the good you can in building up the body of Christ and in loving and serving others and all of creation;
  • third – follow the ordinances (spiritual practices) of God including the Lord’s Supper, study of the Scriptures, prayer and good works.

Though these rules may be simple to say, they are not easy to follow. We need one another and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit to guide, motivate, and help us remember to keep it simple and keep our focus on God. We are a connected community. The people of The United Methodist Church are The United Methodist Church, loving God and neighbor. Clergy and laity are equal partners in leadership, but Christ is the head of the church. We are connected through our structure, our will, and the power of the Holy Spirit to learn how to be Christ in and for the world. Each individual builds a relationship with God in community with the local congregation, which is linked and knit together with other congregations and with the larger body (regional conferences, denominational service and support agencies, and the General Conference, which sets policy and direction for the global United Methodist Church). Together, as the body of Christ, we shine the light of God’s love throughout the world!