Before "Missional" was Cool, there were the Wesleys
I'm really glad for all the conversations and applications about being "missional." It's brought a much needed balance and holistic view of our walk and work with Jesus. Website, articles and books about being missional now number in the thousands. Yet, long before this current wave of missional emphasis, our spiritual forefathers were living incredible, sacrificial missional lives. The "Wesley boys" and early Methodists not only preached the Good News in places and ways that resulted in hundreds of thousands of people choosing to follow Jesus, they also transformed their culture and literally saved their nation through meeting practical needs. Personal holiness and social holiness--the Great Commandment and Great Commission truly lived out in daily life--have to go together or they are not truly genuine!
I've put some characteristics of the ministry of the early Wesleyans on a PPT slide...simple things, but when viewed together, they are as up to date as today's missional conversations. Now, more than ever, we need to practice both Wesley's methods and theology! It also highlights an important principle for me, especially in planting churches or leading existing churches to become missionally healthy. "We gain permission for our future by looking to our missional past."
After all, they were missional when missional wasn't cool! Click on the link to download Lessons from the Wesleys