On January 11th, 2023 the Global Methodist Church announced that “United Methodist Bishop Scott Jameson Jones, the former leader of the UM Church’s Great Plains and Houston Episcopal Areas, has resigned from the episcopacy of the church and withdrawn from the denomination. Jones was received into the Global Methodist Church as an elder on January 9, 2023.”

The article went on to say that Bishop Jones has been appointed a bishop in the Global Methodist Church. This is the second bishop to move from the United Methodist Church to the Global Methodist Church this year.

Bishop Jones is recognized as a renowned Wesleyan scholar. I’ve taught his study, The Wesleyan Way, in churches I have served. In seminary I read his book on United Methodist doctrine.

What makes this move significant is the work Bishop Jones did as a United Methodist Bishop. Bishop Jones had positioned himself as someone who wanted to hold the extreme center position theologically.. In his book on United Methodist doctrine the title is United Methodist Doctrine: The Extreme Center

In United Methodist Doctrine: The Extreme Center he says, “At its best, United Methodist doctrine holds together a number of concerns in dynamic and mutually reinforcing tension. On the theological spectrum Wesley occupies the extreme center, and his approach has shaped the church’s doctrine” (19).

Bishop Jones also has leaned into this centrist branding on his website called extremecenter.com.

Finally, Bishop Jones expanded his ideas in a book of essays called Stay at the Table where he dialogues with other Methodist thinkers.

Yet, Bishop Jones has made the decision to leave the United Methodist Church and join the Global Methodist Church. By moving he is demonstrating how his views align better in the Global Methodist Church. This more than any person moving. This is the extreme center poster child himself moving out.

Bishop Jones said recently “The Global Methodist Church represents traditional Methodism with a strong focus on reaching new people for the gospel… It is a new start that will help clergy and congregations move past the disputes of the last several years and focus on our mission. I am excited about forming disciples who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.”

Bishop Jones has been gracious about his time in the UMC which I believe is the right tract to take. I am grateful he is bringing his strong leadership, deep doctrinal standards, and episcopal oversight to the Global Methodist Church.

David Wesley Donnan is a Methodist pastor in South Georgia.

You can read more from David about the Future of Methodism HERE.

Listen to David’s Podcast HERE.

See David’s Youtube page HERE.

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On Dissafilating Well

January 13, 2023

Several preachers have reached out to me to inquire about my church’s process for leaving the United Methodist Church. I have six tips on dissafilating well for pastors whether they plan to go or to stay. Hear my disclaimer first. This is what worked for me in my context. Your mileage may vary.

Here are my six basic tips on dissafilating well.

#1 Be as Clear as Possible 

Andy Stanley in Next Generation Leader has an entire chapter on “Leading in the Shadow of Uncertainty”. 

Stanley argues, “Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership… The art of clarity involves giving explicit and precise direction in spite of limited information and unpredictable outcomes.” 1

The disaffiliation process is long and confusing. One of the ways a preacher can help their church is by clearly explaining the process many times to the church in appropriate context (see #6 below). Be clear on everything you know. Be clear on what you do not know. Just be clear as you can in all areas possible.

#2 Be Openly Bias

I have a hard time believing when someone claims to be an unbiased source or participant. Instead take some time to disclose your biases. For me, this meant I was up front during this process with my church about what I cared about. 

I made it clear I was biased in the process to do what was best for my family. I was biased to be a traditional Wesleyan. I was biased to being connected to other clergy. I was biased toward having meaningful credentialing.  

Then at the conclusion of my disclosed list of biases I would say, “And these are only my known biases. I am sure I have many more unknown ones that I am not even aware of.”

This builds integrity with your listeners and helps them to understand the lens you are sharing from.

#3 Be as Charitable as Possible

There are ample opportunities to cast your opponents on dissafilation in the worst possible light. Resist the urge to do this. Plenty of moments will arise where you have to firmly push back and say, “I disagree with your conclusion” and that is fine. 

One of my practices is to try to “steel man” the other sides argument. Steel man means to try to think about the strongest point of the other sides argument. 

There are several lazy arguments against the Global Methodist Church such as “it’s only a website”, “it does not exist yet”, or “they are a bunch of bigots”. There have been lazy arguments and uncharitable attacks on those who want to remain.

Rev. Dr. James Howell has a powerful story where he talks about how someone he ministered to emailed him and said, “We thought you were a believer who preached the word and accepted Jesus as the divine son of God. But after learning you’re still in the United Methodist Church, we are shocked that you now believe Scripture is not the Word of God.” 

This would not demonstrate being as charitable as possible. 

Towards the end of Howell’s reflection he says, “Our sisters and brothers who are disaffiliating are more like us than we realize: operating out of hidden fears, we all rush to judgment against those who aren’t us.”

#4 Empower the Church to Decide

One of the beautiful parts of the process is that it gives an opportunity to have their voice heard. They can be heard through their elected members of the administrative board or by the entire church vote. 

Either way, their voices will be heard. They are the ones making the decision and the pastor does not even vote. The church decides on the future. 

It is important to consistently remind the church it is their responsibility to figure out who it is God is calling them to be. It will be their theological task to decide what the next steps are.

#5 Go Along on the Journey with Your Leaders

I truly felt I was along the journey with my church. This meant we were discerning and learning together. The situation for leaving the United Methodist Church is fluid. It changes when bishops set new precedents by acting in bad faith. The situation is altered when conference trustees meet to work on the dissafilation policy. The environment shifts when the judicial council has a ruling.

For us this meant taking 5-10 minutes in our administrative board meeting giving updates and pondering how this may shift our discussion or timeline for who we are called to be.

As you can imagine this has taken enormous amounts of general church energy. However, I am afraid there are few faithful alternatives that I have found. The sands on the shore of Methodism are shifting as much as the tide on St. Simons Island.

Important Note: All of your key leaders need to be a part of these conversations. One of the most important people to have involved is legal counsel as a part of your discussions. I highly recommend having a lawyer early in your process.

#6 Keep Your In-house Conversations In-house

Finally, limit the conversation as much as possible on Sunday morning. We had said early on that having these conversations in worship was the equivalent of having guests over for supper then pulling out the budget and going over expenses.

We tried our best to educate our church with around twelve different in person opportunities to hear, discuss, and learn from bishops, district superintendents, and other pastors. However, these were not part of Sunday morning worship. Announce the opportunity then move on to other elements of your worship service.

Concluding Thought

Pastor friends, please know I am praying for you. This is an incredibly hard season to be in ministry. 

There are no perfect answers or flawless playbooks. At the end of the day you can only do your best to serve the Lord. 

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you believe I can help elevate your church’s conversation during this season.


1 – Stanley, Andy Next Generation Leader Page 79-80

22 Thanks for 2022

December 22, 2022

Family disclaimer. I don’t hate my kids. There are tons of things I am proud of them for. I want to be cautious about sharing too much about them online.

#1 The Glennville Methodist Church. I love the church I serve. We have had an amazing year of revival. The leaders, the staff, and spiritual depth continue to bless me.

#2 The enneagram. I know, I know, I was one of those people who could not stand the enneagram and people talking about it like it was the second coming of Christ. Yet, I went back the The Enneagram Type 3: The Successful Achiever by Beth McCord. Something about me was more open to what the Ennegram revealed about me. 

#3 The church I serve is aligning to a new denomination. Right now hundreds of Methodists are realigning into new denominations. I am grateful my church did the hard work of figuring out where they needed to be and took the steps to get there.

#4 Pokémon. One of my children really got into playing the card game Pokémon. I never played it growing up but I have really enjoyed learning something new. I am fairly certain we do not play it exactly right because we make up some unique house rules sometimes.

#5 The transitional leadership council of the Global Methodist Church. Until our convening conference there is a group of leaders from all over the world piloting the new denomination. We are fortunate to have Rev. Jay Hanson from South Georgia on this team. I also was able to reach out and talk to Rev. Dr. Hidde-Gregoy and Rev. Jessica LaGrone. Both were very passionate about their work on the team and gracious enough to take some time to talk with me.

#6 Recognized as an elder in the Global Methodist Church. Once my church officially became a member of the GMC I was recognized as an elder in the denomination. During worship the church recognized my new status. I even wrote a liturgy you can use if this happens to you. While I am recognized as an elder I still will be ordained by a GMC bishop in 2023

On our first day in the Global Methodist Church my church recognized our accomplishments.

#7 I ran a half marathon. Well actually I ran a 10k on New Year’s day then in March I ran a half marathon. It was even sweeter to run with my father.

#8 NYC trip for my wife’s big birthday. My wife had a milestone birthday. We took a family trip to New York City for the occasion. It also was the first time my children went flying.

#9 Mackinac Island to visit my sister. My sister has worked several summers on Mackinac Island, MI. We went on our second family flying trip to visit my sister.

#10 Last Annual Conference with my South Georgia United Methodist Friends. I will truly miss getting to see everyone in my old company each summer. It was great to have one last time for us all to be together. While I have not been perfect I hope I have modeled how to leave with grace.

#11 Deep Dive Coaching with Brian Russell. Brian’s professional coaching has continued to add a ton of value to my relationship with God, family, and career. I am excited to be hosting him in 2023 for a prayer conference at my church

#12 Doctor of Ministry Program. I am now closer to the end than the beginning. I am very grateful for Asbury Theological seminary and all my friends in the cohort with me.

#13 Birthday trip with my mom. As a child I was all about the Buccaneers. I had not been to a game since high school. For my mom’s birthday I took her to see Tom Brady before he retires.

#14 Family Cruise. We were grateful to go on a cruise over fall break. The kids loved it. I may have gotten leg cramps from trying to take the stairs only.

#15 Isle of Hope River of Life. In 2020 I was scheduled to speak at the Isle of Hope River of Life Youth conference… but something happened globally. This past summer I was finally able to speak there for four nights. It was a great time.

#16 Visits with Friends. I continue to be encouraged by a group of pastors that I meet with annually. A couple of visits that stand out were lifting weights with my buddy Ben and getting to hear my friend Jack preach at his church.

Ben and I lifting all the weight we can, in all the ways we can, for as long as we can.
Jack being hidden behind the cross

#17 Time with my wife. I love being able to get away with my wife. We had a couple of work trips that took us to Savannah and St. Simons. We also spent a couple of nights in Asheville, NC and Elberton, GA for some quick time away.

#18 Memorial Day Visit to my Grandparents grave. On Memorial Day we went to Anderson National Cemetery to visit the graves of my Granny and Grandpa. My grandpa was a WW2 B-29 tail gunner in the Pacific. It’s so meaningful to see the graves with the flags on them.

#19 Meeting Tara Beth Leach. I was so fortunate to run into one of the best preachers in North America at the New Room conference in Nashville, TN. Even better, she was very friendly and did an awesome job teaching.

#20 Spirit and Truth Weekend. I was blown away by a day of praying and learning at the Metter Methodist Church where they hosted the Spirit and Truth ministry team for several days of teaching on prayer. It once again showed me how powerful prayer is. 

#21 Sharing with others about Jesus. I am honored to serve the people in the Glennville Methodist Church. I was also blessed to be able to teach at several places outside of my church. I spoke at chapel services at two private schools, led devotion at a nursing home, the first gathering of South Georgia Global Methodists, and spoke at an FCA event. All these events were fun and I hope I added value to people’s walk with the Lord.

Hanging out with my former youth director, Wesley Marshall, at the Isaiah 43 Conference.

#22 Sandra McDowell’s 60th Birthday. This past year we celebrated my mother-in-law, Sandra Sikes, turning 60. Sadly, she died suddenly just a few weeks later. Grief is a hard and strange thing. It’s so hard to believe she is not coming back for the kids’ next performance or birthday. I am grateful we got to celebrate her milestone birthday even though we are still having a challenging holiday celebrating our first Christmas without her. 

Brandy with her mom and sisters.