Aldersgate term image

Wesleyan Wisdom: Continuing to mine the Aldersgate experience

On May 24, 1738, John Wesley experienced what became a key moment in Methodism, when he felt his “heart strangely warmed” during a prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. Sadly most interpreters have found in Aldersgate evidence to document and justify whatever theological premise they bring to their studies. Wesley was not so precise […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Aldersgate – a playbook for revitalizing the UMC

This is the sixth and final column in which we explore John Wesley’s spiritual journey toward Aldersgate. We are not doing this to idolize Wesley. Rather, our mission is to provide a playbook for individual readers and for local churches to study in small groups as they seek to help their congregations become more vital.In […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Finding assurance: John Wesley at Aldersgate

This is the fifth in a series of columns intended to inspire renewal in local UM churches, through a study of John Wesley’s own spiritual journey in the years leading up to and following his experience at Aldersgate. Our primary concern in United Methodism is how to convert “survival mode” or “maintenance mode” congregations into […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Like Wesley, do we seek an ‘inward witness’?

This is the fourth column in which we look at John Wesley’s “strangely warmed heart” experience on London’s Aldersgate Street on May 24, 1738 and ask, “What insight does Wesley’s journey to Aldersgate give to me?” We ask further if small groups in our churches might find in Wesley’s journey an avenue to becoming “vital […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Working toward an honest view of Aldersgate

Every United Methodist church is being challenged to become a “vital congregation.” For many, this is like pushing a snowball uphill as their strength is threatened by the ravages of aging membership and a sad track record in what our Book of Discipline defines as the mission of the local church—making disciples. As we engage […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Getting straight about Wesley at Aldersgate

William Quick tells the story of two cleaning women staring at an artist’s rendering of John Wesley at Aldersgate. A curator heard one say as a prayer, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again.” In some sense each of us who has grown up with the Aldersgate experience in our “spiritual DNA” has yearned that […]