Is anyone Methodist?(12 Posts)
I am a methodist worship leader. The differences are tiny.
The Lord's table is open to all but we do not take communion every week. The main differences are around who runs services.
Most services are taken by local preachers with the support of worship leaders. A minister will have several churches to which s/he administers communion and leads bible srudies, church meetings and the annual covenant service.
A worship leader is assigned to a particular church and will usually take a part of a service such as the opening prayer or the prayers of intercession. They may also be assigned the bible readings. They cannot preach. If no local preacher is available, the worship leader will put together a service which, in the place of a sermon, will include testimonies, meditations, discussions or activities.
A local preacher belongs to a circuit - a group of churches - and will attend different ones in order to preach. They can take every aspect of a service except Communion. The local preacher undertakes a sort of apprenticeship to become a local preacher.
A methodist minister has previously been a local preacher and adds to the experience they have gained with their training. They move every few years.
There is a stronger emphasis on bible study in the methodist church than when I belonged to the CofE and we do a lot more together as a church community than I was aware of with my previous churches. Perhaps, though, these are mainly differences in the congregations rather than between the religions.
Sunbeams - if you feel more comfortable and able to address your christianity with the methodist church, then that is where God is telling you to be.
In addition to Helles info which is very accurate IME, a key practical difference for many people is the attitude to alcohol and gambling.
Methodists don't drink. Although it is certainly true that some in a Methodist congregation will take alcohol privately and are generally not judged for it, once baptised they "shouldn't" IYSWIM. You will never find drink at a Methodist church quiz night for example. For Catholics it seems practically compulsory
Same with gambling. Most people barely recognise a raffle, or guess the weight of the cake a gambling, but they won't be used to raise funds at a Methodist church fayre.
Seem like tiny issues (which they are and there are good reasons behind them) but strangely "big" when you're trying to organise events. e.g dry barn dance? Church people come and enjoy it but it's very hard to persuade others that they could possibly have fun! Even for quizzes etc, it really restricts the market.
I have attended Methodist Churches for many years and have always received a very warm welcome. The style of worship really suits me and I like the approach of the practical help in the community.
The drinking/gambling is not really a problem - most Methodists I know drink away from Church! We still manage to raise lots of money when necessary and have fun at social events without a drink .
Absolutely Ragwort - the "Methodists" have a great time at events without a drink. It's when we try to arrange things for the wider community that it becomes an issue. e.g. asking parent and tots group to come to the quiz/barn dance/Christmas disco
Chance - I'm not sure it's necessarily the 'lack of drink' at Church social events, more the fact that many people just won't turn up at any 'Church based' activity at all. Some people make a 'judgement' about the activity before even attending it. We had similar at a lot of Anglican social events, where alcohol was served .
molding - in my experience everyone is welcome to take communion at a Methodist church, whether you are confirmed or not. My child has always taken communion. I was formally 'transferred' from CoE into the Methodist faith but I don't believe this is essential.
Re alcohol and gambling. These are not permitted on church property.
Our church is based in a community centre so we do have a raffle though we never have alcohol as a prize.
Our communion wine is - unusually - alcoholic (as out minister says 'just ordinary wine and ordinary bread) but when we attend elsewhere it is non-alcoholic
and tastes foul
There are not the same prohibitions against private drinking or gambling as there were. It's more that we don't go too far. We don't get drunk. We don't go to bookmakers - the raffle really is the limit!
Some babies take communion as their first solids. It truly is open to all.
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