What is the Wesleyan Covenant Association?

July 6, 2017

There are lots of rumors and varying descriptions swirling around the church right now about the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). Less than a year old and still in its formative stages, the WCA has attracted a lot of attention, as well as some criticism. But what, really, is this new organization all about?

The Wesleyan Covenant Association was designed to connect Spirit-filled, orthodox churches, clergy, and laity who hold to traditional Wesleyan theology. It is an association or network of individuals and congregations who share a common understanding of our Wesleyan doctrine and desire to become a vibrant, faithful, growing 21st-century church.

We believe change is coming to The United Methodist Church, as the Bishops’ Commission strives to provide a way forward for our church. In a few years, our denomination will look a lot different than it does today. As we live into what comes next, the Wesleyan Covenant Association will connect, encourage, and resource clergy, laity, congregations, and regional chapters for the vital mission and ministry in which we are all engaged.

Connection is part of our Methodist DNA. We do not believe we can function well in ministry alone. Together with like-minded brothers and sisters, we can be so much more effective for the Kingdom of God! We need the support and encouragement of one another, and we can accomplish much more by pooling our resources and working together.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association aims to be an organization that connects churches and individuals for ministry, based on shared theology and an agreed upon understanding of the Christian faith. Sadly, in our United Methodist Church today, such shared theology and agreed understanding is in short supply. Churches and pastors sometimes find themselves isolated and unable to connect with like-minded brothers and sisters. The WCA provides a new avenue of connection for faithful ministry.

The WCA has three primary goals:

  • Commit to the primary authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Jesus Christ
  • Create a unified response to the Bishops’ Commission recommendation that would maintain traditional, orthodox Methodist beliefs
  • Develop a plan for a positive and faithful future

Each of these goals will be addressed in future blogs. What’s important for you to know is that there is a large group of United Methodists who still believe that the Bible is our true guide for faith and life, and intend to live in obedience to God’s Word. We will find our true unity in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, rather than in catering to the spirit of the age and culture in which we live. The WCA stands for what Methodism has always stood for: orthodox Christian doctrine expressed in passionate invitation to a relationship with Jesus Christ, growing lives of holiness, and concrete acts of love for our neighbor.

Whatever part of the global United Methodist Church we live in, we experience a culture that is not hospitable to the Christian faith and sometimes even hostile to it. In order for us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we need to work together in a commitment to a common ministry fueled by a shared theology. That is what the WCA wants to facilitate.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association affirms the work of other renewal groups, such as The Confessing Movement, Good News, and UM Action. Without their work over the past 50 years, The United Methodist Church would be a far less vital body. However, the WCA’s purpose is not to fight the political battles raging across the church, but to prepare for and live into a positive and fruitful future. We want to join together to carry out the vision of John Wesley to “spread scriptural holiness across the land.” Won’t you join us?

To join the Wesleyan Covenant Association, complete the membership application here.