General Conference authorizes study of United Methodist men

The mystery of why men are missing from United Methodist pews may soon be unlocked.

On May 5, General Conference delegates voted 469-443 to allocate $35,961 to implement a 2005-08 study on men across the denomination. The request for funds will be reviewed by the Council on Finance and Administration. That fiscal agency will present its budget recommendations for all general church funds to the May 8 closing plenary session for final action.

The study will be implemented by the Commission on United Methodist Men and the research arm of the General Council on Ministries (or its equivalent structure).

According to Bill Smith, a delegate from South Carolina, research shows that when a man is the first one in a family to come to Christ, the family follows him 93 percent of the time, compared to 17 percent when children are the first to attend and 27 percent for women.

"We need to find out why," Smith said.

The men’s commission reports that studies by researcher George Barna have found that women are 54 percent more likely than men to be lay leaders, 54 percent more likely to be in a small ministry groups and 39 percent more likely to have personal devotional time.

The study will enable the commission to "develop effective resources, respond to current needs, challenge long-held assumptions and develop effective strategies" for reaching men. The study committee will report its findings to the 2008 General Conference.

*Lauber is a news writer for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7.

After May 10: (615) 742-5470.


Like what you're reading?  United Methodist Communications is celebrating 80 years of ministry! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community.  Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Church
Delegates from the Philippines and Southeast Asia sing during the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. Nearly 300 Filipino United Methodists joined a virtual conversation March 16 to talk about the Christmas Covenant and other plans for the future of The United Methodist Church. More webinars are planned for church members in Africa and Europe. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Restructuring legislation gets a hearing

The drafters of the Christmas Covenant are leading webinars in the Philippines, Africa and Europe about their proposal for changing the denomination’s global structure.
Judicial Council
Bishop Sally Dyck presides over a discussion of the church budget during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. After the 2020 General Conference was delayed, the board of the denomination’s finance agency asked the United Methodist Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on how to calculate the ongoing denominational budget and apportionment formula. File photo by Maile Bradfield, UM News.

New budget must wait for General Conference

The United Methodist Church’s finance agency lacks authority to set new guidelines despite postponement of church’s top legislative gathering.
General Conference
Jessica Vittorio. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vittorio

Closed-door meetings breed mistrust

Too often, important decisions at the church’s highest levels are being made in closed sessions that violate church rules about transparency, says one General Conference delegate.