Christians and the Means of Grace

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John Wesley called the means of grace “signs, words, or actions ordained of God” and “channels of conveying his grace to souls of men.” The means of grace are discipleship practices that we draw from the biblical witness. Watch this Seven Minute Seminary video as Dr. Andrew C. Thompson explains critical paths to spiritual formation and discipleship.

There are 3 categories of the means of grace according to John Wesley:

1. Instituted means of grace: those commanded by Jesus in the Gospels
Examples: prayer, Scripture, communion; fasting, conference/fellowship
2. Prudential means of grace: wise patterns to follow
Examples: class meetings, band meetings
3. General means of grace: attitudes and habits that bring us into the presence of God
Examples: denial of the self, taking up the cross

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Get The Means of Grace: Traditioned Practices in Today’s World by Andrew Thompson from our store here. In The Means of Grace, Andrew C. Thompson presents a clear and accessible explanation of the core tenets John Wesley instilled in the early Methodist movement—baptism, searching the scriptures, prayer, The Lord’s Supper, fasting, fellowship, accountability, works of mercy, and exercising the presence of God. Each means of grace is drawn from biblical examples and paired with a framework to offer a real, practical model for a life marked by holy love and holy transformation.


Dr. Andrew C. Thompson is a pastor, teacher, and scholar in the United Methodist Church. He is an award-winning author and frequent speaker, focusing on the thought of John Wesley, the history of Methodism, and contemporary Wesleyan theology. Andrew is an ordained minister and has served pastoral appointments in Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. He currently serves as the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Previously he taught for four years on the faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee.