Scott Kisker and I have written a book, The Band Meeting: Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformational Community. The purpose of the book is to help people start a unique kind of small group. The book provides a theological and historical introduction to band meetings and the crucial role they played in the vitality of early Methodism. The band meeting was the key piece of the method of early Methodism where people pursued deep transformation in community by the grace of God.
Here is what key leaders are saying about the book:
In The Band Meeting, Drs. Watson and Kisker have made accessible to a wide audience a path, discipline, and practice for any and all who “expect to be made perfect in love in this life.” Thoughtfully weaving church history, Wesleyan theology, and personal testimony, the authors invite us one and all to shed our masks and superficiality. They graciously invite us to be clothed in the garments of spiritual intimacy. I pray for the faith to say yes.
—Gregory Vaughn Palmer, Resident Bishop
Ohio West Episcopal Area—The United Methodist Church
West Ohio Conference UMC
The Band Meeting is a practical guide for authentic solidarity in Jesus. Biblically and theologically grounded, the text offers life-led examples and directions for intentional disciple living. For a true Wesleyan unity, built on Jesus-led community, this book is essential.
—Dr. Vance P. Ross, Director
Annual Conference Relations
Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church
The band meeting was the primary engine of the Early Methodist Revival for discipleship and spiritual formation. Along the way, the band meeting for deeper discipleship has been obscured and confused with the class meeting, which provided initial small group spiritual direction for seekers. In this volume, The Band Meeting: Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformational Community, is new insight and power for making disciples of Jesus Christ who can make other disciples. This is a must-read for every pastor and small-group leader in the Wesleyan tradition.
—Tom Albin, Executive Director
United Christian Ashrams
Our faith journey, in order to keep it healthy, is not traveled alone, but along with others of like mind through connection within communities. Many within our congregations suffer and hurt in silence because they lack this connection. The Band Meeting: Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformational Community provides a biblically based and experientially backed approach to Christian discipleship through small-group ministry. I recommend it highly to campus ministers, small-group leaders, and pastors desirous of enhancing the spiritual depth and maturity of their members through intentional intimacy with God and others. It is a relevant resource for my Spiritual Formation Class as we endeavor to strengthen small-group ministry at the Gbarnga School of Theology
—Jerry P. Kulah, Dean
Gbarnga School of Theology
United Methodist University
The Band Meeting: Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformational Community is not for the faint-hearted! Indeed it is for those who desire to know more fully the freedom that comes from trusting God and a handful of other journeyers with the good, bad, and ugly of our deepest selves. After describing band meetings as the “engine of holiness” for early Methodism, authors Watson and Kisker make a compelling case for why participation in a band is an important tool of transformation for twenty-first-century Christ-followers.
—Debbie Wallace-Padgett, Bishop
North Alabama Conference UMC
Many are trying to figure out how to reclaim the life-changing, world-altering secret of the Wesleyan movement. While it was and is ultimately a work of the Holy Spirit borne out in the lives of every day Jesus-followers, the band meeting taught and modeled by the early Methodists provided the strength and accountability that led to vibrant faith in action. Historians and theologians Kevin Watson and Scott Kisker can help us recapture the essence of what gave Methodism the depth and vibrancy that changed the world in the eighteenth century through The Band Meeting: Rediscovering Relational Discipleship in Transformational Community. I highly recommend it.
Lead Pastor, Reynoldsburg UMC
Chair of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council
The Band Meeting is an essential text for the recovery of deep discipleship in the United Methodist Church. I recommend it strongly to any who are serious about being disciples of Jesus Christ as Lord. The Band Meeting serves as volume two in making transformational disciples (building on Kevin Watson’s The Class Meeting). Together in these pages we are offered an opportunity to reclaim the essence of the Wesleyan movement in transformative
Resident Bishop of the Central Texas Conference
of the United Methodist Church
The phrase in the first chapter “We are hardwired for connection” captured my imagination. I loved the journey through Scripture, history, theology, and experience on how to finally live out how God intended for humans to flourish. The Band Meeting does this along with very practical guides. I see this book as a catalyst for another great awakening across our globe.
—Jo Anne Lyon
General Superintendent, Emerita, The Wesleyan Church
Throughout much of the Wesleyan world, we have lost a clear sense of what “social holiness” actually is and why it matters. In The Band Meeting, two of our best theological minds have collaborated to help us recover true social holiness through a practice often neglected today: the band meeting. I highly recommend this volume, which is clear and readable, historically informed, and theologically rich.
—David F. Watson, PhD
Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of New Testament, United Theological Seminary
In our age of digital disconnection, we need Christian practices of community more than ever. Watson and Kisker open up the practice of the band meeting in a way that will benefit the church as we seek to reconnect with each other and with God.
—Beth Felker Jones
Professor of Theology, Wheaton College
The stunning success of early Methodism as a disciple-making movement was made possible because of Wesley’s genius in organizing believers into band meetings. Watson and Kisker have shown us the way back to our heritage as a transforming, disciple-making movement. The Band Meeting powerfully demonstrates that the band meeting is not merely another church program, but is ultimately the basic transformational community that enables us to be “saved to the uttermost.”
—Will WillimonBishop UMC (retired)
Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School
I hope you will check out the book and spread the word!