Open Letter To The Methodist Church, Ghana Conference

Dear fellow Ghanaian Methodists,
I am a Ghanaian Methodist moved by the passionate love for my church to engage in this honest discourse with you with an open mind. I will be suggesting the way forward in the latter sections.

Unless we face the facts and call a spade a spade, the Methodist Church Ghana will not even be lucky enough to stagnate but will rather regress badly if proper action is not taken now.

Some Ghanaian Methodist ministers properly sent abroad for further studies or to head Ghanaian Methodist Societies, upon completion of their studies or assignments flatly refuse to return to Ghana for reappointment in home churches. I shall focus on the United Kingdom where I have been legally resident for over 60 years, hence, can write from my personal knowledge.

But recent events and media reports indicate that my observations in the United Kingdom are replicated throughout the diaspora. As soon as these ministers arrive abroad they start to seek their personal fortunes and welfare rather than the pursuit of the church, or even the members for whose interests they are sent abroad.

Some of us concerned Ghanaian Methodist members in the United Kingdom have taken up the matter with both the Methodist Conferences of Ghana and the United Kingdom without even an acknowledgement from either Conference.

We believe that these ministers should return to Ghana so that the Churches that committed the finance  which they can personally hardly afford in this depressed economic climate  would also benefit from the experience gained abroad by these ministers. The aim of establishing themselves in foreign countries is downright selfish, mean-spirited and denies other ministers, who may be committed to the cause, the opportunity to gain similar experience for the benefit of both church and society in Ghana.

I want to take this opportunity to make some suggestions which would be of benefit to the church as we go forward:

1. In future before any minister is sent abroad for whatever cause or duration, he or she must be made to sign a legal agreement / bond that upon the completion of studies or assignment he/she will return to Ghana for reposting or refund the full cost of his/her training.

2. The Visa Authorities of the host country should be advised by the Methodist authority in Ghana that the visa is for a fixed period and should not be extended or renewed under any circumstances without official confirmation from a competent authority of the Methodist Church in Ghana.

3. The Methodist Church in the United Kingdom should be informed in writing of item 2 above.

4.Any minister abroad who decides to defect to join the British Methodist Church should return to Ghana and seek approval or resign to be free to return to the United Kingdom and pursue his/her vocation at his/her own expense. This is the standard practice in most institutions or business enterprises.

5. If the British Methodist Conference believes that our ministers are very good, hence they intend to offer them permanent positions in their churches, they should come to Ghana on a recruitment drive in the normal manner and any minister who wishes to accept such offer should be made to resign completely from the Ghana Methodist Church without any future prospect for them to return for reinstatement if things do not work for them as expected..

6. Most of the ministers who are abusing the goodwill of the Ghana Methodist Church argue that they would like their children to benefit from education, upto university level abroad. Further, they and their spouses will enjoy cheap medical and social benefits, including housing and good pensions in the United Kingdom.

They appear to forget that the Methodist Ministry is ITINERATE MINISTRY: that is you move periodically to different stations as stipulated in the Church’s Standing Orders and Rules.

Their refusal to return to Ghana is a blunt disregard of the welfare and well-being of other ministers whose children and spouses could also do with the benefits of their initial stay abroad.

This cannot be a Christian attitude worthy of ministers of our Church, and must be discouraged by every means possible if the Church is to survive the turmoil of modern times.

Emmanuel N. Quartey,

London SW17,

Tel: 07813507410


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