The Wesleyan movement is rich with a history of church planting. In Part II of our video interview with Ed Stetzer, he suggests 3 lessons to remember from our history if the Wesleyan-Methodist movement is to recapture its vision for planting churches in the 21st century.
1. Break the territorial parish mentality
When banned from preaching in established churches, John Wesley famously said, “The world is my parish!” This same ethos needs to reverberate both with those exploring church planting and with those in established churches. There are enough lost people to go around, and we must be ready to acknowledge that different churches reach different people kinds of people.
2. Raise up leaders who want to plant churches
Create space for entrepreneurial-minded people. But recognize that these self-starters will often be mavericks, so we shouldn’t be surprised when their communities look different or don’t fit within our systems. People who start something from nothing are valuable, though, and they are a key to reaching people in the 21st century.
3. Preach a gospel that transforms both persons and society
Jesus came to serve the hurting and to save the lost. Where people want to separate these two aspects of Jesus’ mission, traditionally, Wesleyan evangelicals have done an exemplary job at holding them in tension. Church planters must continue to view mission and church planting as a holistic enterprise without bifurcating the personal from the social.