Briefly summarizing what a whole church believes is difficult, but I’ll try my best. Grace. United Methodists are all about Grace. ( I guess that was easy) More than anything else- United Methodists believe in God’s amazing and unquestioning love over humanity. All Methodist beliefs, doctrines, practices and theology begin with a firm grounding in the belief that God wants each and every one of us to be happy, healthy and holy. We believe there isn't anything that you have to do, or say, to make God love you. We believe that God loves you, and has always had a plan for your life, from a time before you were even born! We believe that in order to live out that perfect plan for your life, AND to receive the ETERNAL LIFE that God has planned for you, you need to CHOOSE to receive Jesus as your Lord and follow His rules for your life. It’s just that simple.
To explain more (for those who want to go deeper), the very first methodist, Rev. John Wesley, shook-up the whole Christian culture in the mid-1700’s with the early Methodist movement. Wesley lived in England, and preached to an economically devastated people about the intense transformation that can change our world when people can CHOOSE God. He preached about 2 different kinds of Holiness. 1) Personal Holiness is what happens when we allow God to save us through our faith in Jesus Christ and the transformation that starts to take place in our lives, as the Spirit of God slowly changes us... re-creates us(?)... from the inside – out! Most churches only go that far- but there is SO much more in this faith! 2) Social Holiness is when we start to go to work for God, serving our Lord to change the world. Social Holiness is the outward expression of our Personal Holiness, as we follow Jesus to transform the world (living out the same faith that brought us to salvation).
There's a lot more- but that's the gist of it. In short, Methodists believe in God’s power to work through us- to change us AND the world! We LIVE in that kind of power. Want to read more?
Please visit umc.org to read more about the official UMC Doctrines, learning about the Sacraments, the Trinity, Baptism... etc... Here is a shortcut to the Articles and Statements of our Faith.
Here is a short video about John Wesley.
You'll like it.