A new United Methodist Church is emerging. The following resources are listed to assist you in seeing it and becoming part of it. The list will be updated as additional resources become known. The list comes in three sections: the new UMC as a movement, as a living tradition, and as a denomination called “to serve the present age.” A fourth section contains miscellaneous resources…
Early Methodism was an expression of historic Third Order movements (e.g. the Franciscans), described as “an eclesiola en ecclesia” (a little church in the big Church). Third- Order movements were missional. The Wesleys began Methodism to “spread scriptural holiness across the land” with a particular aim, to reach the marginalized, renew the church, and reform the nation. The following books describe the Methodist movement…
George Hunter, ‘The Recovery of a Contagious Methodist Movement’
Gil Rendle, ‘Back to Zero: The Search to Discover the Methodist Movement’
Leonard Sweet, ’11 Genetic Gateways to Spiritual Awakening’
A Living Tradition
The Wesleys’ decision to design Methodism as a Third Order movement gave rise to foundational documents and practices. This list presents the historic Methodist documents (as per a Third Order), with a contemporary resource for implementing each dimension today…
Constitution: “The Character of a Methodist” by John Wesley. Steve Harper’s book, ‘Five Marks of a Methodist’ expresses this foundational character for today.
Rule: “The General Rules of the United Societies.” Rueben Job’s book, ‘Three Simple Rules’ expresses these primary intentions for today.
Covenant: “The Covenant Renewal Service.” Magrey deVega’s book, ‘One Faithful Promise’ expresses living by vows for today.
Practice: “The Means of Grace” a sermon by John Wesley. Elaine Heath’s book, ‘Five Means of Grace’ expresses these formative practices for today.
These four documents were threads that were woven together to create the tapestry of early Methodism community in its various forms: societies, classes, and bands. And as shown above each one has been revived for use today. You can find each one (with supportive videos and guides) at Amplify Media.
Serving the Present Age
Charles Wesley’s hymn “A Charge to Keep” reveals the missional (kairos) energy of early Methodism. Knowing our time and serving it in Jesus’ name is still a necessary engagement. The four books above are resources that illustrate this principle. Here are additional books that help us do this….
Michael Beck and Jorge Acevedo, ‘A Field Guide to Methodist Fresh Expressions’
Kenneth Carder, ‘Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way’
Kenneth Carter & Audrey Warren, ‘Fresh Expressions: A New Kind of United Methodism for People Not In Church’
Paul Chilcote, ‘Recapturing the Wesleys’ Vision’
Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, ‘The Shaping of Things to Come’
Steve Harper, ‘The Way to Heaven: The Gospel According to John Wesley’
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, ‘The Awakening of Hope’
Kay Kotan, ed., ‘Being the Church in a Post-Pandemic World’
Brian McLaren, ‘The Great Spiritual Migration’
Daryl & Andrew Smith, ‘Discovering Your Missional Potential’
Leonard Sweet & Michael Beck, ‘Contextual Intelligence’
Phyllis Tickle, ‘The Great Emergence’
The list above will take you to additional resources, but here are others to keep in mind…
Amplify Media (from the United Methodist Publishing House)–has a good Wesleyan Studies component.
Path 1 at The UMC General Board of Discipleship.
‘The Wesley Study Bible’
The general UMC website (umc.org) is a gold mine of resources.
A New Ministry
UMsConnected began in June 2022 to provide spiritual formation in the Wesleyan tradition through a variety of means and resources. For more information go to the movement’s website: http://www.umsconnected.com