New Plan for Global Apportionments

According to the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), United Methodist Church membership in Africa grew at an astounding 11 percent annual rate from 2008 to 2013. For example, there are twice as many United Methodists in the West African nation of Cote D’Ivoire than in the entire eight states that make up the Western Jurisdiction.

At the same time, U.S. membership declined at a 1.2 percent rate over that same four year period. If those rates continue to hold, there will be more members in Africa than in the U.S. by the close of 2016.

This is just once facet of the shifting image of the global nature of The United Methodist Church.

Currently, more than 40 percent of the nearly 13 million-member United Methodist Church live outside the United States in the “central conferences” located in Africa, the Philippines, and Europe. At the same time, United Methodist congregations in the United States financially support 90 percent of the general church budget through apportionment giving. That will all change if legislation is passed at the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon.

“Central conferences want to participate (in giving), and they need a system to do that,” said Moses Kumar, the General Council on Finance and Administration’s top executive.

The Rev. Dustin Petz, a finance agency board member, told the United Methodist New Service that the formula is intended to meet two goals: Increase giving to the general church, and take the first step toward a global apportionment system that works “on a shared, rational and equitable basis.”

“At this point, central conferences voluntarily contribute about $950,000 [out of a budget of 150 million] a year to support the denomination’s bishops,” reported Heather Hahn of UMNS. “Under the proposal, central conference apportionments would contribute to two of the seven general church funds – the Episcopal and General Administration funds. That money supports the work of bishops and the operations of denomination wide administrative bodies, including General Conference.”

To read Hahn’s entire article about the proposed new formula for central conferences, click HERE.


  1. Al Vanderlaan says

    Why and where is the church growing . I am involved with a growing local church and conference . The Dakotas conference is growing particularly in churches that are conservative bible believing churches . God blesses thoughts that honor him and his word written in the bible . I believe if any church or person changes the written word in the bible in any way , anything can be. Changed that is written in it . Then who is right ? The bible is not a book of opinions . It is the book of firm commandments . God’s word can’t be changed by man . God will bless people and churches that trust in him and his word . God is blessing the conservative evangelical churches . People want a solid rock not things of the world . They do not need to go to church to get thoughts ideas .

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