METHOD & 3 basics every Christian should know about Wesley’s ministry method

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/12/17.

The Power of the “Method

The method … “gave rise to church denominations such as the

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  • United Methodist Church,
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church,
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion,
  • Christian Methodist Episcopal,
  • Christian and Missionary Alliance,
  • Church of God in Christ,
  • Free Methodist,
  • Freewill Baptists,
  • Church of the Nazarene,
  • Assemblies of God,
  • Church of God (both Tennessee and Indiana affiliations),
  • Seventh-day Adventists,
  • Church of Christ,
  • Foursquare Church,
  • Calvary Chapels,
  • Vineyard Churches,
  • Salvation Army,
  • many others and of course, Wesleyans.

Today, 26% of the Protestant Church around the globe can be traced back to these “enthusiasts.”(1) What could God do in the next century if we reclaimed their methods?“(2)

John Wesley was the most influential Christian leader since the Apostle Paul because he carried out the Great Commission in it entirety. When Wesley died, there were 243 Methodist churches in the United States.  By the War of 1812, there were 5000 Methodist churches.  Wesley not only preached the gospel to lost people, he raised up an army of circuit riding preachers, each one of them planting up to 50 – 100 churches.  Within in one generation after the death of John Wesley, his movement, the Methodist Church – became the largest protestant movement in the world. (Elmer L. Towns, Nov. 3, 2014, Co-founder and Vice President, Liberty University, Dean of The Liberty University School of Theology)

So, what is the Method?

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(1) Geordan Hammond, Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S., director of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre, Manchester, England, email message to author, 2017.

(2) Bob Whitesel, Enthusiast! Finding a Faith that Fills (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2018), p. 17.

Discover the 30-day devotional guide to the method here:

#6:15 seminar sermon Methodist method Ft. Wayne #TransformationalLeadershipConference

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & An Exercise to Recapture the Dual Emphasis of Wesley’s “Method”

What was behind the Wesleyan revival’s rapid spread around the world?  A dual emphasis on two “methods” are key (and need to be recaptured today). To help discover these two “methods,” undertake this quick exercise.

A Leadership Exercise:

Search online (search on too) for four (4) key words: John Wesley, poor, conversion.

Then share a few sentences about the following three things:

Firstly, share something that you learned that is new for you.

Secondly tell about something you could do in your ministry to better reflect the Wesley “method” of meeting the needs of the poor.

And thirdly, explain what you will do in your ministry to better reflect Wesley’s method of encouraging everyone to have a conversion experience.

In other words, the “method” behind “Methodism” has two important components (see below).  What will you do in your ministry to ensure you include and balance both

1) meeting the needs of the poor

2) and explaining to everyone their need for a spiritual/life transformation through the power of Jesus Christ.

This exercise will help you internalize the “methods” that led to the fastest growing revival movement since Biblical times.

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WESLEY’s METHOD & Why It is Needed Again Today

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 1/30/16.

Many denominations trace their histories back to a “revival movement” sparked by John Wesley’s “METHOD” in 1700s England. These denominations include

  • the Methodists of course,
  • the Free Methodists,
  • most Pentecostals/Charismatics,
  • the Nazarenes,
  • most of the Church of God denominations,
  • Freewill Baptists
  • some Baptist denominations (e.g. in parts of Texas)
  • the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church,
  • Evangelical Church of North America,
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church,
  • the Salvation Army
  • and of course the Wesleyan church.

But what is made this made Wesley’s “METHOD” so influential and so dramatic?

The secret was Wesley’s leadership and organizational “METHOD.”

So clear to his detractors that this “METHOD” was at the core of the movement’s emphasis upon conversion and discipleship that his detractors labeled his followers “Methodist.”

Methodist was a derogatory term. But the people following the “METHOD” knew that the “METHOD” worked and so they embraced the name. This would be analogous today to someone calling you a “program Christian,” meaning that you were just following some “program.”

But those who had been changed and now started caring for the poor because of this “METHOD” knew that the method was Biblically-based and divinely inspired. This they were proud to be called “Methodist” … attaching it to every church name.

Some Calvinistic churches and leaders may have disagreed with Wesley’s Arminian theology. But they don’t disagree with his “METHOD-ology.” Famous Baptist theologian and founder of the Liberty University School of Theology, Dr. Elmer Towns said:

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