Distinctives

By Bishop Matthew Thomas

Everything excellent. That’s the way it was once, in the beginning. Nothing broken.

Right now, God is working to make everything whole again. We are a part of his people, working under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to restore the world — making people and all creation whole. As a result, we see outbreaks of God’s glory.

Jesus embodied this good news of the kingdom in His life, death, rising from death and continuing work in our world. He works transformation through His followers — bringing forgiveness, mending brokenness and setting people free to live with fearless love and confident hope. The gospel is the good news of God’s power. It makes everyone in every place whole. The Free Methodist Church makes this good news foundational to accomplishing all God wants to do in the world. We gladly welcome you to share in the adventure with us.

The history of the Free Methodist Church is rooted in the biblical command to live in holy love. This love comes from God and is available to all. Like the early Methodists, the founders of Free Methodism were not satisfied with speculative conversations about love. They were committed to expressing love through deep devotion to God. They demonstrated methodical Bible reading, worship and spiritual disciplines. They were committed to accountable discipleship through classes and bands. They recognized the calling on God’s people to accomplish His work through the lay ministry movement, itinerancy and field preaching.

The first Free Methodists also envisioned a renewed love for people who were marginalized, poor and disenfranchised. They balanced the Methodist intent to disciple every believer with the expectation that they would deliver the whole gospel to every man and woman, regardless of station, race or class.

The Free Methodist Church has chosen to express this engaging, holy love by empowering the church to use all means necessary, within sound biblical instruction, to impact the world for Christ. Our annual conferences and churches are allowed to organize themselves around guiding principles rather than rigid formulas. Our global leaders are respected as competent to lead their indigenous churches autonomously. Our pastors are appointed without being controlled in ministry. Our ministries are filled with partnerships from inside and outside the Free Methodist family.

At our core, we are committed to love. We are called to live holy lives. We are expected to engage a needy world. We are empowered to serve without needless restrictions. All of our structures encourage these priorities. We believe the Great Commission requires the transformation of individuals and societies by God’s power and love and for His glory.

The result is wholeness — whole people bringing the whole gospel of freedom to the whole world. In the church, this wholeness is displayed through healthy biblical communities of holy people — disciples, leaders, groups and churches that steadily multiply. Throughout the world, God displays this wholeness as He restores what is broken back to excellence through His holy, transformed people.