General Conference 2024 (technically 2020)

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet over the next two weeks in Charlotte, NC. The General Conference is the only body that speaks on behalf of the United Methodist denomination. It meets every four years, except during the pandemic year of 2020, when it was postponed. So technically the GC meeting in 2024 is the 2020 conference. It’s confusing, I know; welcome to life in a worldwide denomination!

The General Conference is comprised of delegates, laity and clergy, who are elected by their annual conferences. More than 800 delegates from multiple countries will attend. Our North Texas Conference delegation was elected in 2019- again, intended to participate in the 2020 conference- so the same slate of delegates, minus those who disaffiliated from the UMC, will represent us in Charlotte. For more information about General Conference, go to this website:

I have never attended a General Conference, not even when it was in Ft Worth several years ago, because I find it very frustrating. From an outsider’s perspective, General Conference is unhealthy and disconnected from the church’s mission. But this year, largely because of disaffiliations, I am more optimistic than ever. Those who could no longer remain comfortable within the United Methodist denomination have left to join another or become independent churches. There are several initiatives in play that will help the UMC become more agile, just, and healthy. 

I am prayerful that, similar to the annual conference experience in North Texas last summer, things will feel more unified. So, in the same way Dallas Cowboys fans feel on Labor Day weekend, I am excited for General Conference. We’ll see what happens. Things can change! A year ago I would have said, “similar to how Texas Rangers fans feel before Opening Day…” but they won the World Series last year! Maybe this year GC will get stuff done as well.

This Sunday I will share more expanded thoughts about General Conference at a combined Sunday school discussion in Asbury Hall. Everyone is welcome, regardless of which class you normally attend- especially if you don’t attend Sunday school at all! I’ll share 9:00-9:30ish. During the General Conference, I highly, highly recommend you stay up to date using official United Methodist sources, not just social media or television. 

For news and updates, the best resource is

There are also prayer guides available from Upper Room Ministries:

Specific to the North and Central Texas delegations:

When we become members of a United Methodist congregation, we make vows to support both the local church and the denomination with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. I hope you will join me in deploying all those resources over the next two weeks.