John Wesley gave the Methodist movement (and all Christians in general) a discipleship pathway to follow. Wesley began with Three Simple Rules (or “General Rules”), and followed this instruction a year later with the Five Marks of a Methodist (or “Character of a Methodist”). Wesley observed the need for continuous renewal of relationships with God and others, so he established a recurring annual process for God’s people to make One Faithful Promise: The Wesleyan Covenant for Renewal. The study by Heath turns to the practices at the center of Wesley’s understanding of spiritual growth: the means of grace.
This book/study guides readers through the five means of grace that John Wesley called “instituted,” meaning these are spiritual practices in which Jesus himself participated and which he encouraged his followers to do. One of the beautiful aspects of Wesley’s theology is that spiritual practices are seamlessly integrated with practices of loving our neighbors well. This is why Wesley said there is no holiness but social holiness. A life of genuine prayer inevitably leads to a life of hospitality, mercy, and justice.
Through this book/study participants will consider how each of the five means of grace help us as communities of faith to pray more deeply and live more missionally as followers of Jesus Christ. These means are the ordinary channels that God uses to draw us into a fruitful relationship. These five means or channels are:
2. Searching Scripture
3. Receiving the Lord’s Supper
5. Conferencing (communion, fellowship)