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¶222 New General Conferences

  1. A new general conference may be authorized by the sponsoring general conference when the provisional general conference seeking such status has adopted the provisions of the Common Constitution of Free Methodism which are binding for all general conferences as defined in ¶210, as a part of its constitution and Book of Discipline* and has been recommended by the board of the sponsoring general conference on the grounds that the following standards are satisfied:
  • 1.1 An effective, financially sustainable organizational structure at all levels;
  • 1.2 A systemic plan to mentor pastors in the discipleship of new converts, in the nurture and development of healthy church members and in the equipping of lay workers;
  • 1.3 A systemic plan to discover and train ordained ministers (deacons and elders or their equivalents);
  • 1.4 Normally, a minimum of 5000 adult members and 30 elders;
  • 1.5 A systemic plan to multiply churches locally and globally (or at least to new people groups);
  • 1.6 Refinement of the draft of the Book of Discipline* for approval by the board of the sponsoring general conference, including mission and vision statements with published copies available to all clergy and all local churches;
  • 1.7 Communication capabilities across the provisional general conference;
  • 1.8 Evidence of responsible stewardship of life and possessions including the proper management of funds and annual audits and reporting to their own board of administration or provisional general conference;
  • 1.9 The existence of a property-holding body or bodies as required by local laws;
  1. Contractual agreements with any Free Methodist mission agency or association with regard to missions personnel and properties shall be re-negotiated to reflect the new relationship between the new general conference and the mission agency or association and/or the sponsoring general conference.
  2. When it can be demonstrated by a committee composed of the supervising bishop, the suffragan bishop and two lay members of the provisional general conference board of administration that the above prerequisites are met, a formal petition may be presented to the sponsoring general conference. It shall have the power to authorize the formation of a new general conference and the election of a bishop or bishops.
  3. Autonomy of the new general conference from the sponsoring general conference is final following a ceremony led by a bishop of the sponsoring general conference at a duly called sitting of the provisional general conference. Following this ceremony, while the delegates are assembled, the new general conference may convene to conduct important or urgent business as an autonomous member of the World Conference.
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