Listen to today’s devo!

For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household. (1 Peter 4:17)

One of the greatest renewal movements in church history was the Wesleyan Revival of the eighteenth century. Today, in the twenty-first century, John Wesley remains a hero of the faith. The stories are iconic: Wesley finding his heart strangely warmed at a small gathering on Aldersgate Street in London. . . . Wesley preaching in the open air. . . . Wesley announcing to his befuddled bishop that the world was his parish. . . . Wesley planting “societies” across England and launching the Methodist movement.

What’s not widely known is that involvement in the Methodist movement was tied to accountability. Tickets were issued for attendance at a Wesleyan society meeting—typically held on Sunday evenings. There was no charge for the tickets, but periodically the society’s roll would be reviewed. Were the members of the society faithfully attending “class meetings” as well (an additional midweek small group meeting for spiritual support and accountability)? Were they living Christ-honoring lives? Were they serious about the faith? If not, Christian counsel and encouragement were offered, but persistent neglect of spiritual things would mean their tickets weren’t renewed for the following quarter!

Two things jump off the pages of this history: Wesley took participation in spiritual community seriously, and the result was a transforming fellowship of believers who changed the spiritual climate of England. What about us?

Let your life through the week affirm your worship on Sunday.

Bob Black is an emeritus professor of religion at Southern Wesleyan University. Along with Keith Drury, he co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.

© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.