General Conference Delegate Profile

“Restructuring” is the most important issue facing General Conference according to delegates who participated in a survey by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA). The guaranteed appointment, homosexuality/human sexuality, the global church and the church’s budget/finances rounded out the top five issues for General Conference.

Survey responses were provided by 484 jurisdictional delegates and 120 central conference delegates.

Survey data indicates:

Nearly 43 percent of respondents are attending General Conference for the first time, while nearly 22 percent have attended 3 or more conferences.

Over 35 percent of respondents attend a church with 1,000 or more members, while 25 percent attend a church with fewer than 200 members.

Nearly 89 percent of respondents have been members of the UM Church for more than 20 years; nearly 74 percent have been life-long UM Church members. Among respondents who are not life-long members, more come from the Baptist tradition than any other religious affiliation.

• Over 71 percent of respondents participate in community service, social justice or advocacy activities in their local churches while 70 percent participate in evangelism or outreach activities.

Respondents most valued sermons/preaching, Bible study/prayer groups, and wider community care/social justice emphasis aspects of their local churches.

Over 42 percent of respondents believe the UM Church has ideas, but no clear vision, goals or direction. Over 45 percent believe the UM Church is always ready to try something new: 65 percent of respondents are excited about the future of the UM Church.

Half of respondents feel at ease talking about their faith and seek opportunities to do so, while 45 percent feel mostly at ease talking about their faith and do so when it comes up.

Over 50 percent of respondents regularly tithe 10 percent or more of gross income; an additional 28 percent regularly tithe 10 percent or more of net income.

Nearly 24 percent of respondents are currently serving as board/council members of one of the thirteen general agencies or the Connectional Table.

Nearly 38 percent of respondents came to General Conference with a good idea of where they stood on the issues and how they would ultimately vote. Over 78 percent expected to learn more about the issues while at General Conference that would influence their votes.

–General Council of Finance and Administration’s Office of Analysis and Research.