Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recovery of Wesleyan Christianity by George Hunter

Recovery of at least three bold directions in Wesleyan Christianity:

1. Lay ministry as central to function of the church. Lay led small groups. Ministry was done by and led by laity, not clergy. Lay ministry was entrepreneurial. Recovery will come when lay ministry is restored. Wherever most of the “ministry that matters” is entrusted to the paid  pastors, the church is declining. When the “ministry that matters” is entrusted to the laity, the church is thriving.
2. Small Groups as a means of discipleship and care. Class meeting are the connective tissue of Methodism. Small groups provide discipleship, primary pastoral care, radical hospitality, and acceptance for members and guests. 18th century core agenda for Wesleyan class meetings were people who wanted a new life; who engaged with each other; and welcomed pre-                        Chrisitan people who were wanting to investigate a new life. The Apostolic Congregation by George Hunter, small groups reach and minister to people and effectively reach more people than worship services. Leaders surface and are developed in small groups.

3. Missional Christianity is essential as a driving force for Wesleyan Christianity. Christianity’s main business was to do nothing else “but save souls.” More than simply keeping them out of hell, but to helping them live a new life.  To encourage holy living. “Ecclesia” and “apostolate,” both the community of God and the sent people of God. Embracing the “order of salvation:”

                                  a. Awakened to their lostness.
                                  b. Enrolled in a Methodist class meeting/group.
                                  c. Justification—help them expect God’s forgiveness.
                                  d. Sanctification—help them expect God will complete the work in them.

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