The Charter has been the uniting instrument of United Methodist Men units for over 50 years. The concept to unite Methodist Men through a national office was a grassroots idea at the beginning of men’s work.
Men gladly join and support many diverse civic and service clubs and support these organizations with dues as well as many hours of volunteer service doing good in their communities. They do this willingly year after year, reaping the spiritual reward of contributing to the welfare of humankind. They enjoy the association with others and often cultivate their own welfare in the business world.
All the familiar civic service and para-church religious organizations are chartered through a national or international organization. All such national or international organizations are supported from dues of member organizations. The membership never questions the fact that each local unit must be chartered. Yet, when it comes to supporting a national service organization that is a part of the church, some ask, “Why charter? Why should a local United Methodist Men unit charter and make annual contributions to the General Commission on United Methodist Men?”
United Methodist Men’s units are chartered for all the same reasons that a local church is chartered as a United Methodist church, making its annual contributions to the general church through World Service and Conference Benevolences. Our church is a connectional community of true believers under the Lordship of Christ offering a covenant relationship between persons. It offers a unique and favorable mission and ministry in the world.
Because of the uniqueness of ministry for and to men, the limited amount of general church funds is not adequate for direction, oversight, administration and maintenance of this specialized mission and ministry of United Methodist Men.
The national office and staff of the General Commission on United Methodist Men provide many services for local units, sub-districts, districts, conferences, and jurisdictional organizations, the U.S. National Association of Conference Presidents, and the International Christian Fellowship of Methodist Men. Each of these important structures exists to support men as they grow and to provide opportunities for men to be in mission and ministry together. Our goal is to increase the local unit’s effectiveness in mission and ministry through opportunities not available through any other source.
The charter benefits from the General Commission on United Methodist Men to a local unit include: free membership cards, program book and other resources provided in the annual President’s Packet, a service office, available staff to answer phone calls and letters, staff-led training events in every part of the nation for conference, district and local leaders, local church resources to assist in program planning and enabling officers in their duties and responsibilities, representation through national staff in a wide variety of interests in which other United Methodist Church agencies and ecumenical organizations are involved.
The General Commission on United Methodist Men staff oversees and manages the mission and ministries that are funded by United Methodist Men. With the cooperation and help of the National Association of Conference Presidents, the United Methodist Men Foundation and the National Association of United Methodist Scouters, staff relates to, promotes and seeks funds to maintain the United Methodist Men missions. Also, the General Commission staff manages the National Gathering of United Methodist Men held every four years, traditionally at Purdue University.
Three important functions of the annual charter recertification are:
- The annual charter renewal updates the name and address of current officers. To insure that current mailings reach the proper hands, the new officer information must be received annually.
- The charter and annual renewal as stated in The Book of Discipline (¶2302) is the key that links men’s units around the world. Witness and strength are measured by annual growth of current chartered units.
- Financial contributions provide the support for the General Commission on United Methodist Men’s administrative, mission, program and resource budgets. These annual contributions are vital to strengthen and enhance the unique connection of one men’s unit with other men’s units around the world.