Church Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition

Church Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition

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The following quotes, used by permission, are from a newly released book on Wesleyan leadership entitled Leadership the Wesleyan Way. This vital resource will help you understand both the theoretical and practical sides of church leadership in the Wesleyan tradition.

“Recognizing the scope of ‘the world in this institutional sense points us to the importance of Wesley’s insistence upon ‘doing good’ in the world that he had come to see as his parish. Like many other evangelical sub-groups, the Holiness community saw itself as culturally marginalized during most of the twentieth century. Spiritually, the primary mandate was to survive as a faithful and holy people in a larger culture that was seen as hostile to the faith. The hostility that these folks discerned is certainly still there. But Holiness churches have experienced their own clear pattern of upward mobility in recent decades. Local congregations that were located ‘on the wrong side of the tracks’ in a given community now often have the best real estate in town. The sons and daughters of the earlier camp meetings now hold significant positions of influence in government, business, entertainment, sports, and the academy. What does it mean today for them to see their places of influence as a part of the larger ‘parish’ in which they are called to ‘do good?’ The answer to that important question must go beyond simply engaging in efforts at personal evangelism.” -Richard Mouw

“Wesleyans see leadership as a gift of the Holy Spirit given to certain women and men, enabling them, as Carder and Warner say, to ‘energize, inspire, and mobilize individuals and communities’ toward the “new creation’ (p. 27). Beginning with John and Charles Wesley in the British Methodist revival and Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke in the formation of American Methodism, Wesleyan history is punctuated by visionary, transformative, pragmatic leadership in laity and clergy. While many of its women and men have been leaders focused in the church, others have been at the forefront in struggles for social equality and justice, in the formation of enduring missionary organizations, in the establishment of higher education institutions, in the creation of innovative businesses, in the construction of hospitals, in the service of government and politics, and in the stewardship of creation. Each leader in their respective field has been used by God to contribute to a fuller realization of the ‘new creation’ inaugurated by Christ.” -Chris Bounds

Examples of exemplary Wesleyan women and men leaders in the Church: Phoebe Palmer and E. Stanley Jones; in causes of social inequity and justice: Luther Lee and Jo Anne Lyon; in forming enduring mission agencies: Charles and Lettie Cowman; in establishing institutions of higher education: Iva Durham Vennard and Henry Clay Morrison; in innovative businesses: Stanley Tam and S.S. Kresge; and in politics: Elizabeth Dole and William McKinley.



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