The 1996 General Conference of The United Methodist Church established
the Connectional Process Team to "manage, guide and promote a transformational
direction for The United Methodist Church to continue the work begun by the Connectional
Issues Study of the General Council on Ministries and the Global Nature of the Church
Study of the Council of Bishops."
1. Enable The United Methodist Church more faithfully to carry out its
mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
2. Support local churches as the primary locus of mission and ministry
within The United Methodist Church.
3. Review the summarized data collected by the General Council on
Ministries Connectional Issues Study, the Council of Bishops Global Nature Study, and
other pertinent studies and responses, to assess the missional and structural needs of The
United Methodist Church, and to facilitate the ongoing process of renewal throughout the
4. Consider recommendations received by the General Conference related to
the General Council on Ministries Connectional Issues Study and the Council of Bishops
Global Nature Study.
5. Arrange for communication and training in the interactive
organizational process for implementation by local churches and annual conferences, using
the resources of appropriate church agencies.
6. Establish methods to receive feedback from local churches, annual
conferences, jurisdictional conferences, and central conferences that are using the
interactive organizational process, and share with the Church those models being
7. Establish methods for evaluation and refinement of the interactive
8. Facilitate an interactive organizational process with the general
agencies, boards and the Council of Bishops that will clarify the mission of the general
church agencies in supporting and resourcing the Church. The second step in the discerning
and interactive process will be to define and recommend the most faithful structure to
enable the ministries of the local church, conferences and institutions of the Church.
9. Hold periodic hearings across the Church to continue discerning God's
vision for the Church.
10. Develop basic organizational forms to enable the mission and ministry
of The United Methodist Church.
11. Consider the advisability of regional and global conferences and
propose and further elaborate upon their nature, work and composition.
12. Invite the affiliate and autonomous churches into dialogue regarding
the Global Nature of the Church and the interactive organizational process, and encourage
their ongoing feedback and participation in this process.
13. Report to The United Methodist Church no later than January 1999.
Based on feedback and responses, make a final report and bring recommendations to the
General Conference in the year 2000.
In addition, the Connectional Process Team was asked to collaborate with
the Council of Bishops, the General Council on Ministries, and the General Council on
Finance and Administration as its work developed as well as engage in dialogue with other
general agencies of the Church. The General Commission on the Role and Status of Women and
the General Commission on Religion and Race were asked by the 1996 General Conference to
monitor the implementation of the CPT to ensure racial and ethnic participation and the
participation of women. The GCOM provided staffing for the CPT and the GCFA provided the
necessary funding for the CPT's work.
All United Methodists were asked to discern and articulate God's vision
for ministry as guided by the Holy Spirit. The 1996 General Conference declared that
"the vision for each part of the United Methodist Church should be consistent with
God's vision for the whole United Methodist Church."