I remember my first encounter with Wesley’s class meetings. It was in a church history class in college, and I heard about this strange thing the early Methodists did. They met together weekly with no agenda except to bear one another’s burdens. I heard about the rapid growth of the Methodists and the scriptural holiness that spread across the land. I thought it would be brilliant if someone could write a book that teaches us about the early method of discipleship of our Methodist fathers and mothers. Kevin Watson has done just that. His book Blueprint for Discipleship is an accessible, practical, and timely book for not just the United Methodist church, but the Church in general.
While Watson discusses the necessity of “watching over one another in love,” with the class meetings, he also teaches us modern Methodists today, a simple blueprint for our daily walk with God through his exposition on the Wesley’s General Rules, “Do no harm. Do all the good you can. Practice the Christian Disciplines.” And as any good Methodist should do, he begins the whole book with grace.
Watson writes in his concluding chapter, “I am afraid many Christians do not know where they are going, and as a result, they never get there. I have argued that our destination, or goal, as Christians is holiness of heart and life.” To this statement and many more I added my own Amen to them. I recommend this book to any pastor or church leader who cares about teaching others a simple process for the journey to holiness. To often, we think people grow spiritually by osmosis, if they just come to church, Sunday School, and a mission trip, they will get it, but Wesley, Watson, and others know that growth comes from intentional discipleship.
I look forward to reading more of Kevin’s work in the future, and following his leadership of true Wesleyan renewal in the United Methodist Church that needs to recover not just the United part of our name, but also the Method part, so then maybe we can become the Church that Christ has called us to be.