Prayer Series: John Wesley in relation to Ephesians 4.11-12

Prayer Series: John Wesley in relation to Ephesians 4.11-12 July 1, 2019

God, I’m so appreciative of men like John Wesley that we can point back to, and there are many others that I’ve looked at this last couple weeks. Jesus, they are people who have implemented things like this that we’re talking about right here, and they’ve transformed society.

In our prayer series, we’re going to look at the thoughts of John Wesley in relation to Ephesians 4.11-12.[1]

And “he gave” the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ

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Let’s get the right focus before we start talking about specifics.  It’s God who’s doing the ministering here, and He uses people in different functions and offices.


Prayer Series: John Wesley

Long, long ago, far before the 20th Century in church history there was a man who transformed his country.  That man was John Wesley.  From every indication in history, John Wesley appeared to have something very similar to a Pentecostal revival that swept England.

i. John Wesley organized the movement in a very methodical manner

He was highly educated, and some of his friends who helped start the movement were as well.  He was also an Anglican priest (Church of England) and never, ever left the Church of England.  Because he wanted to honor the Church of England, he very seldom ordained ministers.  He had the ability to ordain ministers to the Church of England.  There was a time when his groups were growing so large, that they were asking him to form his own denomination.  Although his followers were asking him to, he would not do it.

ii. John Wesley concentrated on preachers

He would raise up, what we might call today, lay-ministers.  Wesley usually called them preachers.  He would train them and send them out.  Now he did a lot of things that were wonderful.  For instance, most of the ideas that we have now for small group ministry probably come out of that movement.  So he trained a lot of circuit riders, as they would come to be known in the West.  These men went out and revived the country.  John Wesley was one of them.  He literally traveled hundreds of thousands of miles in his career on horseback.

iii. Wesley saw the advantage of training anybody to declare the Word of God, anybody

He would go to villages and cities.  The crowds would gather and they would be too big for any building.  Sometimes they’d be too big for the town square.  So they’d have to go outside of the city to a designated meeting place, maybe a plain, a field with a big tree, or some other type of landmark.

iv. They would often have thousands of people out there

People would be falling out in the Holy Spirit, what we call being slain in the Spirit.  They would have all types of miracles taking place.  People were not even making it through the sermon, but weeping and giving their lives to Christ.  They were experiencing amazing things.

I know there were a lot of key elements to what John Wesley did, but I believe one of them was the fact that he invested in lay preachers.

v. He invested in people, and trained them how to declare the Word of God

He says this:

Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth.[2]

He says, “I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen.”

We are fully operational when we love God, when we hate sin, and when we advance the Kingdom of God.

Ministry doesn’t flow from man.  Ministry flows from Jesus Christ, He Himself . . . and No One Else

What John Wesley implements is still the same as when Paul penned Ephesians 4.11-12 nearly 2,000 years ago.  This is still the way to empower and strengthen a church.

Benediction

Dear Heavenly Father, right now we take a moment to pray.  And God I ask that as these words sink into our spirits, that You would just stir us.

God, I’m so appreciative of men like John Wesley that we can point back to, and there are many others that I’ve looked at this last couple weeks. Jesus, they are people who have implemented things like this that we’re talking about right here, and they’ve transformed society.

I thank You that same heart is here in these people.  I pray that You give us guidance and wisdom on how to draw that out and do the great works that You have for us.

We ask all these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


notes:

  • I enjoy ministering as an Evangelical Columnist in the Patheos community.  If you like more information about me and our nonprofit JC Ingle, Inc. CLICK HERE
[1] The Prayer Series.  I’m sharing a series on prayer.  These are specific vlogs from prayers within a congregational setting.  This post is adapted from:

Rev. Jared V. Ingle, “He Himself . . . and No One Else,” MT. ZION F.W.C., Traverse City, MI.

Prayer Series

Vernell Ingle: Blessing on this House

Continue to Transform Us

Peters’ Confession of Christ

[2] John Wesley, “The Letters of John Wesley, 1777: To Alexander Mather, Bristol, August 6,” The Wesley Center Online, 2000, accessed September 7, 2017, http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-letters-of-john-wesley/wesleys-letters-1777.

For additional readings see:

Wood, A. Skevington, The Burning Heart, John Wesley: Evangelist (Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, 2007).

Wood, Laurence, The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism: Rediscovering John Fletcher as John Wesley’s Vindicator and Designated Successor, vol. 15 of Pietist and Wesleyan Studies (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002).

For more info:

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