November 19, 2015
The practice of Wesleyan groups has always been a strong point of Methodist movement. This type of accountability was widely spread in times of John Wesley’s (he was the founder of Methodism). People would gather together in a small group, sharing their joys and hardships, success and misfortunes, their temptations and the understanding of God’s will. That confidential communication would help the early Methodists in reaching sanctification, at the same time without becoming spiritually proud, praying all the time and caring of one another.
I encourage all the United Methodists in Eurasia to become a part of a covenant Wesleyan group. If there is no such a kind in your congregation, you are free to make one with your fellow believers.
During the twenty plus years I’ve been a part of different Wesleyan groups. Each time I got the appointment to serve in a new place, I would pray and look for my Christian fellow brothers who could be my close friends within the Wesleyan group. I could share my dreams and fears, rises and falls, sins and God’s revelations with them. All those things would help me keep in mind the importance of being humble before God and courageous in moving forward.
During these years I’ve been studying and practicing the experience of different Christian and Methodist leaders. I’d like to share some ideas that would be of good support in organizing your Wesleyan group.
• mutual spiritual support
• sharing soul’s and spirit’s testimonies with one another
• exposing one another’s sins and dangerous points
• praying and sharing spiritual experience
• spending outdoor time together (e.g. fishing, BBQ etc.)
• pastors and lay leaders need spiritual growth and upgrade; it’s close to impossible to be done on one’s own
• pastors and lay leaders fall when there is no accountability, transparency and support
• start with a prayer
• a group can be formed on the basis of occupation (pastors) or gender (solely brothers or sisters). The main principle is mutual trust and confidence
• once a month or once a week meetings with sharing a meal
• one day or weekend retreats, far away from daily routine
• end with a prayer for one another
4. SAMPLE QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION ACCORDING TO BROTHER JOHN WESLEY
• How’s your soul doing?
• What are your relationships with God like now?
• What has the Lord revealed to you this month?
• What worries you?
• What makes you joyful?
• What success have you achieved this week, this month?
• What sins and temptations are you struggling with?
• Do you live a modest healthy life?
• Are you wise enough with your finances?
• How do you express your love to your family?
• How do you share the good news with non-believers?
• How do you serve the people in need?
• Do you follow spiritual discipline and use the means of grace?
• How’s your prayer life going? What do you pray about?
• How’s your personal Bible study going?
• Is there anything that you keep in secret?
• What positive habits have you developed within you?
• What habits do you want to get rid of?
• What three things are you thankful to God for at the moment?
• What way is the Lord leading your community?
You can prolong this list and empower your Wesleyan group’s meetings. May the Lord bless you in this direction!
Be brave and humble!
Translate by V. Ditmar