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¶221 Provisional General Conferences

  1. One or more annual conferences may petition the general conference to which they belong for status as a provisional general conference. This intermediate developmental stage provides for the mentoring of indigenous leaders who appreciate the interdependent nature of the international church with its systems of mutual dependence and accountability and who will grow by exercising gifts, graces and authority under the leadership of the sponsoring general conference and its bishop.A provisional general conference receives a measure of jurisdictional authority and autonomy to develop unique mission and vision statements, and to interpret and apply the Book of Discipline* within its culture under the leadership of its suffragan bishop as it carries out the mission of the church.

    Achieving the following standards will allow the board of administration of the sponsoring general conference to authorize the formation of the requested provisional general conference:

  • 1.1 Evidence of spiritual depth and maturity in integrity and leadership.
  • 1.2 A membership growth pattern spanning several years.
  • 1.3 Evidence of being both an evangelistic and a sending church with plans to reach to a different tribe or people group.
  • 1.4 Demonstrated loyalty to the doctrines and practices of the Free Methodist Church as set forth in its Book of Discipline*.
  • 1.5 Evidence of ability to understand, articulate and commit to the biblical and theological tenets of the Wesleyan-Arminian doctrine.
  • 1.6 Development of its own draft of a Book of Discipline* including the Common Constitution of Free Methodism and organizational structures essential to their culture and size, according to guidelines set forth by the general conference to which it belongs.
  • 1.7 Adequate financial strength and stability with annual audits.
  • 1.8 Normally, a minimum of 3000 adult members and 20 elders.
  • 1.9 Nomination of a suffragan bishop who shall be mentored by a bishop from the sponsoring general conference
  1. Contractual agreements with any Free Methodist mission agency or association with regard to mission personnel and properties shall remain in force until renegotiated with the mission agency or association and/or its sponsoring general conference.
  2. When it can be demonstrated that the above prerequisites are met, a formal petition may be presented to the board of administration of the sponsoring general conference. It shall have the power to authorize the formation of a provisional general conference, approve the draft of the Book of Discipline* and elect a suffragan bishop. The/a bishop from the sponsoring general conference shall consecrate the new suffragan bishop at a mutually agreeable time.
  3. A provisional general conference may continue in this status indefinitely, as approved by the board of administration of the sponsoring general conference.
  1. Provisional general conference status may be withdrawn by the board of administration of the sponsoring general conference due to any significant regression from these established standards or due to a failure of adequate leadership for any reason.
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