"The church is a community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. It is the redeemed and redeeming fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by persons divinely called, and the sacraments are duly administered according to Christ's own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit the church seeks to provide for the maintenance of worship, the education of believers, and the redemption of the world." - From the Preamble to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church
The product of over 200 years of General Conferences of the denominations that form The United Methodist Church, the Discipline is the current statement of how United Methodists agree to live together. It acknowledges the past and addresses the future.