The 2012 General Conference. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry
Noting that an ABC poll found only 32 percent of American men attend church compared to 44 percent of American women, the 2012 General Conference encouraged UM churches to expand their ministries to men.
“The group of men who meets monthly for study, worship and fellowship serves an important purpose, said the conference, “but it should be only a fraction of a local church’s effort to deepen the spiritual lives of men and to minister to men and young people without church homes.”
Meeting in Tampa Bay, Fla., the assembly encouraged all churches to charter a UM Men organization: “Pastors and superintendents are encouraged to utilize DVDs, online training, lay-speaking courses, the services of men’s ministry specialists and other resources provided by the General Commission on UM Men to expand the ministry to all men within and beyond the congregation.”
The resolution (Number 8019) further encourages churches to charter Scout troops and other youth-serving ministries as a way to reach unchurched youth and encourages church members to become scouting ministry specialists.
The 2012 Book of Discipline requires each “church or charge to have an organized unit of UM Men chartered and annually renewed through the General Commission on UM Men” (¶256).