We are a Wesleyan people. There is still much to learn from John Wesley’s experience in growth and submission to the will of God. His journals are a powerful tool for us to learn and grow. At the least, his writings can give us a context for today’s church.
It was 1739. John Welsey was invited to preach with Mr. Whitefield in Bristol. Wesley did not want to go. He was “fully employed” already. We are often busy with the work of the church when God calls. It even came down to casting lots “and by this, it was determined [John Wesley] should go.”
John Welsey was a pious man, “tenacious of every point relating to decency and order”. He writes “that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.” Given the move of society today as then away from the church, the kingdom of heaven will be slim if this sense of righteousness continues to hold sway.
After preaching about The Sermon on the Mount on Sunday, thank God alone that Monday came. John Wesley records a profound moment.
Monday, 2. At four in the afternoon, I submitted to be more vile and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation, speaking from a little eminence in a ground adjoining to the city, to about three thousand people. The Scripture on which I spoke was this (is it possible anyone should be ignorant that it is fulfilled in every true minister of Christ?): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” [see Isa. 61:1, 2; Luke 4:18, 19].
“I submitted to be more vile”
Do you realize it is Monday for the church?
Are you willing to give up being in the church to be the church?
God seeks ministries that go into the fields, the streets, and the world. The Sermon on the Mount was not preached in the synagogue or the temple. Wesley’s submission to be more vile reached 3,000 in one day and thousands beyond. We have examples and models who showed us how. Why wait?