John Wesley was a brilliant preacher, who convicted and converted tens of thousands with his “open-air” services. However, more important to the revival which swept over Britain because of Wesley’s ministry was the spiritual growth of these same converts, which occurred in early Methodist Class Meetings.
The Class meeting existed in order that its members might enjoy salvation in its fullest sense. The members were united together to help each other to gain complete deliverance from sin. They pleaded for one another in prayer. By the recital of their experience, they encouraged the timid, counseled the perplexed, rebuked the lukewarm, instructed the ignorant, and guided the anxious inquirer “into the way of peace.” Nor was the bond of mutual sympathy and help broken when the Class meeting closed. They watched over each other during the week; ready to help in the moment of temptation, quick to place a hand under a brother’s cross, courageous to point out a fault in spirit or conduct, inflexible in their protest against wrong-doing, eager to rejoice with them that did rejoice, ready to weep with them that wept.
- from A Manual of Instruction: Advice for Class Leaders
by the Reverend John S. Simon, 1892
It is our desire that every member of Fairbanks First United Methodist Church know first-hand the “bond of mutual sympathy and help” described above. It is our conviction this still occurs when we come together in small groups the same way it did when the Wesleys began the Methodist Class meeting. It is our prayer all of us might “enjoy salvation in its fullest sense.”
May you and yours experience the fullness of all that God has promised and offers through His Church.