Positive Working Together was adopted by Methodist Conference 2015 and establishes a 'code of conduct' or 'shared commitment' to how we behave together, as Methodists, in the lives of our churches. The intention is not to stifle discussion or disagreements (which approached creatively lead to new ideas) but to make it clear that as people in the Methodist Church, we can agree or disagree and be kind, respectful, thoughtful, and gentle in the process. Positive Working Together covers face-to-face behaviours and also our behaviour online and on the phone.
What does this mean in practice?
Its adoption in 2015 means that positive working together outlines the expectation for how people should behave around one another in Methodist churches around the country. It explains how we need to consider how we communicate and how we treat one another. The cards we have put together for use sum it up in the following way:
Each person is equally important to God and must be treated with respect. The Methodist Church is an inclusive church that seeks to work collaboratively and recognises the challenges that difference can bring.
OUR COMMITMENT is to:
- listen carefully to each other;
- speak & act respectfully at all times;
- be courteous in all communication;
- encourage openness & confidence in our relationships;
- never use verbal or physical intimidation in our relationships;
- deal positively with one another even when we disagree
This commitment is useful throughout church life, but potentially very useful where conflict needs to be resolved. Birmingham Circuit is therefore keen for every church to get to know this document properly and have it in regular sight and use in the life of their church life. This intention, properly launched at the Circuit Assembly in September 2019, will be shared in detail with church councils so that they can embrace this as a healthy baseline expectation whether at a Sunday Service, Church Council Meeting, or any other element of part of church life.
Resources for churches
There are several resources which might be helpful for churches to use to share the good practice that Positive Working Together is championing in our communities. These are:
- The Methodist Church's Positive Working Together Document
- Using Positive Working Together in Your Churches, Birmingham Circuit Booklet
- Positive Working Together - Notice Board Introduction and Shared Commitment
- Printable Birmingham Circuit 'Our Commitment' cards Download front and Download back.
(We have spare copies of these for Birmingham Circuit Churches in our Carrs Lane Central Office.)
Copies of the Birmingham booklet and notice board information were given out to all churches at the September 2019 Circuit Assembly.
Advice and Guidance
If you'd like advice or guidance on how to implement Positive Working Together in your church or a particular situation, please talk to your Minister for advice, or contact our Positive Working Together Champion, Deacon Ruth Yorke.
Where can I read more about Positive Working Together Connexionally and find detailed documentation?
The Methodist Church has plenty of more detailed information about positive working on its website which you can find here.