As many of you who know me are aware, one of my personal heroes is John Wesley. I love it that not only did he lead evangelistic meetings that brought thousands to Christ, but that he also created a follow-up system for the post-conversion period. In doing so, he retained a much larger share of the harvest than had he simply left his converts to their own devices after conversion.
One of the other elements of Wesley’s ministry that I appreciate so much is his reliance on lay people to carry out the important work of the ministry. I recently ran across this quote: “Give me one hundred… 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.”
When I read that I felt an internal sense of “yes.” That’s what matters—the heart of a person, not the degree or the seminary or the training. The heart for God is what will shake the gates of hell.
I enjoy your posts. I would like to republish your quote on John Wesley on my blog, which is on the subject of Primitive Methodism (specifically) and Christian discipleship (more generally). I am doing active research into the Primitive Methodist Movement and the lessons we can learn today.
That would be fine, Dave. And I’m sure John Wesley would approve as well!
I am seeking to re-tell the story of the Primitive Methodists who were a church planting movement who expanded from ten members in 1810 to 100,000 active members by 1852. They established chapels in almost every town and village across the length and breadth of England, and spread to Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia and NZ, and had missions in Africa.
I am in the process of writing a book about the movement and the lessons we can learn today in our cultural and spiritual context. My blog has some of the stories of this dynamic movement that was particularly effective amongst the working classes and the poor.
I look forward to the release of the book! We have much to learn from the Primitive Methodists…to extract the key principles, then seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern how to apply them in our own ministry context. Please keep me posted on your progress.