What is a United Methodist?: Confirmation 3.19.17


This week we asked the question, "What is a United Methodist?" We talked about the purpose of the church (the body of Christ, to pray for others, to gather together in Christian community, to worship God, and to serve God and others), and then we talked about how the Methodist Church fits into that framework. The Methodist movement started in England inthe 1700's with John and Charles Wesley. In 1738 John Wesley, a priest in the Anglican Church, after feeling distant from God, recorded in his journal that after reading scripture one night his heart was "strangely warmed." He felt for the first time that God loved him and had forgiven him. John Wesley would go on to share about his experience and preached that Christians were called to "scriptural holiness" which means that we are called to live out our faith through our actions. As Methodists we are called to love our neighbor and "get our hands dirty" to make the world a better place. 

We talked about how we must be discerning in our lives, making decisions and knowing God's will. In order to discern what God would have us do we use something called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is essentially four filters or things we use to judge something and help us figure out where it fits in our faith. These four elements are:

  • Scripture
  • Tradition
  • Experience
  • Reason

We also talked about the sacraments, or ordinances instituted by Christ to be observed by His church until He returns. In the United Methodist Church we observe two sacraments, baptism, and holy communion.


Weekly Scripture to Memorize:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
Answer in your Journal:
How would you describe your participation in the church? A casual participant—just on Sunday or Wed. night , or a devoted participant?
Would you like to change your level of participation in the Church?            
What are the things that you like most about West Market Street UMC? What would you like to change about West Market Street UMC and why?
What things do you like about Youth at the LOFT student ministries? What would you like to see changed and why?                    
Read John Chapters 20-21. Write down in your journal one thing you learned from these Chapters.
Family Homework:
Read Acts 2:42-47. This passage records the early purposes of the church (Fellowship, devotion to teachings, Communion, Servanthood, praising and worshipping God.)
Discuss as a family:
Do you think the Church still fulfills these purposes today? Which of these areas of the church do you participate in? What areas do each of you wish you were more involved in? How can you make this connection?