United Methodist leaders often speak of the denomination as the connection.This concept has been central to Methodism from its beginning.
The United Methodist structure and organization began as a means of accomplishing the mission of spreading scriptural holiness. Methodism's founder, John Wesley, recognized the need for an organized system of communication and accountability and developed what he called the connexion, an interlocking system of classes, societies, and annual conferences.
Simply put, no one congregation is the total body of Christ. United Methodist churches and organizations join in mission with one another other and with other denominations.