Wesley Bros: Reversing Seekers

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Reversing “Seekers.” 

Itinerant ministry is a “Sent” system, where pastors are sent by the Bishop to their ministry appointments.  This is different from a “Call” system, where pastors apply for the job and are voted in by the congregation.  Both systems have their pros and cons.  Sure, itineracy has to change with the times because our culture is not the same anymore.  But maybe the answer isn’t to move to a “call” system so much as it is to reclaim the reason the was really started:

John Wesley’s reason:  “It’s your business tobring as many sinners as you possibly can to Repentance, and…to build them up in the Holiness, without which they cannot see the Lord.”

The first book of Discipline also stated: “Our call is to save that which is lost.  Now we cannot expect them to seek us.  Therefore we should go and seek them… The greatest Hindrance to this you are to expect from rich, or cowardly, or lazy Methodists.”

So, there.  Bishop Francis Asbury and his companion preacher, Harry Hosier, never sent preachers anywhere they hadn’t been themselves.  They were hardcore.  BTW, the average life expectancy of the first circuit riders was 33 years old.  Sign up today!

Charlie Baber

Rev. Charlie Baber is author and illustrator of the weekly web comic: Wesley Bros. When he isn’t finding new ways to mash-up church history with modern culture, he has actual responsibilities as a Deacon serving at Highland UMC in Raleigh, NC. Check out Charlie’s site at www.wesleybros.com.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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