Today's article may surprise some of you as you notice the source. Many write Wesley off, even though they love to sing his and brother Charles hymns, because of his Arminian tendencies and doctrines. However, Wesley was used of God to lead many people into the Kingdom of His dear Son. There are many things we can learn from John Wesley. Remember what George Whitfield said of John Wesley when he was asked by a critic who expected Whitfield to criticize or condemn Wesley:
"Do you think you will see John Wesley in heaven?" Whitfield was asked. "Oh no", came Whitfield's reply, "Wesley will be so close to the throne of God I won't be able to see him."
The heart of Methodism during the life of John Wesley was the "Methodist Class Meeting." These were small covenant discipleship support groups where members were committed to each other. The members would confess their sins to each other, they prayed for each other, and stirred up one another to love and good works.
The design of our meeting is to obey that command of God, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed."
To this end, we intend:
1. To meet once a week, at the least
2. To come punctually at the hour appointed, w/o extraordinary reason
3. To begin exactly at the hour w/ singing or prayer
4. To speak each of us in order, freely and plainly, the true state of our souls, with the faults we have committed in thought, word, and the temptations we have felt, since our last meeting.
5. To end every meeting with prayer, suited to the state of each person present
6. To desire some person among us; to speak his own state first, and then to ask the rest, in order, as many and as searching questions as may be, concerning their state, sins, and temptations
It is also interesting to me that these groups didn't admit everyone. They seemed to regulate them to believers but also to believers who were sincere and committed to growing in grace. I strongly contend that we must be very cautions and careful in this area, yet I think many people waste time, quench the Holy Spirit, and undo what is being done by those who are not serious about their walk with God. So, for what it is worth here are...
Some of the questions proposed to every one before he is admitted among us may be to this effect:
1. Have you the forgiveness of your sins?
2. Have you peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ?
3. Have you the witness of God's Spirit with your spirit that you are a child of God?
4. Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
5. Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you?
6. Do you desire to be told your faults?
7. Do you desire to be told of all your faults, and that plainly?
8.. Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in his heart concerning you?
9. Consider! Do you desire we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning you?
10. Do you desire that, in doing this, we could come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom?
Any of the following questions may be asked as often as occasion offers; the four following at every meeting:
1. What know sins have you committed since our last meeting?
2. What temptations have you met with?
3. How were you delivered?
4. What have you thought , said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?
What do you think of these Accountability Discipleship Groups?
Do you belong to a group similar to this at your place of membership?
Would you belong to such a group if one were available?
Join us on Gospel-driven Discipleship Wednesdays as we continue to highlight discipleship with various articles, news, events, opinions, and book reviews as I work toward fulfilling the five purposes of this blog (see right sidebar of blog) and continue to supply biblical principles of discipleship. I hope to provide the reader with teachings related to beginning, intermediate, and advanced steps that enhance the discipleship process.