Recently, I have had several opportunities to speak at churches about Wesleyan small groups. I have been encouraged by the desire that many pastors and laity have had to start something like a class meeting. On several occasions I have had further conversations with people about what it might look like for them to actually begin a class meeting. A common refrain I have heard when I have talked about the Wesleyan method for making disciples of Jesus Christ has been something like, “This all sounds great, but how would you actually do this today?”
Based on the things that people have said to me, I have been surprised at how easy it has been to convince people that the class meeting was of vital importance to the success of early Methodism. Rather than doubting the value of the class meeting, people seem to want concrete guidance on the steps to reclaiming this practice.
In light of this, I am going to write a series of posts called, The Methodist Class Meeting for the 21st century. This series will focus on topics such as: What were the nuts and bolts of the early Methodist class meeting? What are the primary obstacles to starting something like a class meeting? What ingredients are necessary for starting a healthy class meeting? How do you start a class meeting? How do you maintain the vitality of an established class meeting?
I also want to solicit your questions. Are there questions that you have about class meetings? I welcome both historical and practical questions. Feel free to either leave your questions as a comment on this post, or email me directly at deeplycommitted at gmail dot com.
I look forward to the conversation.