For those of you looking for resources in thinking about The United Methodist Church as a global denomination, the Methodist Review, the online-only Methodist academic journal, provides a number of helpful resources. Among these are an article written by Dana L. Robert and David W. Scott two years ago entitled "World Growth of the United Methodist Church in Comparative Perspective: A Brief Statistical Analysis." In this article, the two authors compare the growth rates of the UMC, independent Methodist churches, other Wesleyan churches, and Anglicans churches on a country-by-country basis. As the study notes, "These comparisons show that population figures give serious cause for concern about the UMC’s performance globally" (38). The authors suggest several possible reasons for that poor performance. The authors examine sociological, structural, cultural, and theological reasons, raising questions for further research.
The article is available freely online, though accessing it does require the creation of a login for the Methodist Review's site. To see the article, go to www.methodistreview.org/index.php/mr/article/view/48. For other articles by the Methodist Review, see www.methodistreview.org/index.php/mr/issue/archive.