In the last few weeks, Joleen and I have been hard at work (as I alluded to in recent posts) working on studies in United Methodist history and doctrine (we had completed the polity part awhile back).
We finished yesterday and while our heads are still swirling (almost literally, we probably covered a semester’s, or more, amount of work in 3 weeks or so!), we did gain a greater sense of the history of Methodism, covering well over two hundred years time span.
While we knew a lot of the basics already, it’s always amazing to read about how Methodism spread across England and eventually to the American colonies, starting in the decade(s) before the American Revolution, and through the present day. In the U.S., Methodism experienced incredible growth as circuit riders and other Methodists literally sought to spread scriptural holiness across the land.
One of the things our whirlwind tour of Methodism did was to remind us that we’re part of something huge, something that started long before we were born, and God-willing, will continue long after we’ve done our part!
We want to be faithful to God, and we want to be faithful members of the “cloud of (Methodist) witnesses, those who’ve gone before us as well as those who will follow us!”
In the coming days, watch for other posts flowing out of our quick reading of the history of Methodism — some serious (e.g., Wesley & Change) and some less serious (e.g., what an Igniting Ministry slogan might have looked like in the late 1700s 😉 ).