United Methodist Church the Structure Book Report

Excerpt from Book Report :

Their purpose was to bring Christianity to all Americans and to the world through evangelism. Churches were planted in many countries where they built hospitals and supported schools. This idea of "planting" churches is what caused the UMC to develop into the network of churches in small towns spread across the American landscape like polka dots. What the churches have lost, according to Frank is their connectivity with the other churches in the community. They have lost the connection and the focus of what their original mission was and their sense of direction about where they wish to be in the future.

One of the United Methodist Church's greatest problems is being able to retain the connectivity that they had in the past, even though they were separated by distance. This ability to stay connected with one another is one of the key traits that distinguishes the UMC from other denominations across the country. he ability to remain spread out, yet defined by mission and purpose was one of the key distinguishing factors about the United Methodist Church. Frank argues that this connectivity and sense of mission and purpose is what is lacking in the church of today.

The missionary purpose of the early UMC gives it a distinctively ethnic and culturally diverse flavor. Unlike other denominations, the UMC was not predominately of European and African heritage. It encompassed people from the Hispanic communities, Asian communities, and other minority groups, creating a diverse congregation with leaders representing various ethnic groups (p. 32). This strength allowed the church to grow and expand and penetrate where predominantly European churches were not able to penetrate. It also gave the UMC political power in minority congregations through unity and sense of single mission. The structure of the UMC is missionary and invites all people to Christian faith regardless of ethnic or economic boundaries.

The governance of the UMC is by conference decision. The church has no single presiding Bishop or executive officer and no executive committee. The local church is the primary base of missionary work and everything else that happens in the church as a political and social force (p. 38). The purpose of Frank's work was to highlight the importance of structure, polity, and mission in the survival of the United Methodist Church.

Franks book was informative, and that it provided a balanced view of the mission and purpose of the church both from a historical and modern perspective. He traces the beginning of the decline of the church and offers suggestions and solutions to the problems that the church faces today. This book was an eye-opening account of the state of the UMC and of other denominations in the United States. Like the fabric of American culture, the fabric of the church is becoming assimilated into the melting pot of American culture and society.

Frank's book is a call to action that is meant to inspire members of the UMC to return to their core values and the reasons why the church was founded in the first place. The book gives a macro view of the problem and highlights the importance local level action as the solution to the problems faced by the church today. The book is well researched and is a solid foundation for any seminary student who realizes that there is a problem in the church and wants to develop better understanding of it from a historical perspective. This book should be the required reading for any seminary student as it provides an excellent bird's eye view of the troubles faced not only by the United Methodist Church, but by other denominations in the world today.

Works Cited

Frank, Thomas. Polity, Practice and the Mission of the…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Frank, Thomas. Polity, Practice and the Mission of the United Methodist Church.

Nashville, Tennesee, Abingdon Press. 2006.

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