For several years now I have had a nickname, The Methodork. Contrary to popular belief this was not a name that I gave myself, it was a name that youth of the Central Texas Conference referred to me as. I think and hope that I was referred to as The Methodork because a deep passion of mine is our rich Wesleyan heritage we have as United Methodists.
It is my belief that a Wesleyan understanding of faith and life is the fullest life that a person who claims to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ can live. Our Book of Discipline says it like this:
Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit. We assert the God’s grace is manifest in all creation even though suffering, violence, and evil are everywhere present. Despite our brokenness, we remain creatures brought into being by a just and merciful God. The restoration of God’s image in our lives requires divine grace to renew our fallen nature.
Our understanding of grace and love of Jesus Christ and how we as Christians live our lives for the glory of God is important. It is something that HAS to be taught in our children’s ministries, youth ministries, adult ministries and on. It is deep and rich and a heritage that is largely only taught during confirmation and this has to change. Our youth groups, bible studies, VBS’s, and everything that we do as United Methodists need to be taught with the heart and mind of our heritage of theology.
So, in that spirit for the next couple of weeks we will be looking at practical ways for us to teach the “Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases” as they are found in our Book of Discipline on page 45 in our Doctrinal Standards. So for the next couple of weeks we will look at the following:
Next Week: Prevenient Grace
Week of April 12: Justification and Assurance
Week of April 19: Sanctification and Perfection
Week of April 26: Faith and Good Works
Week of May 1: Mission and Service
Week of May 8: Nurture and Mission of the Church
I hope you will tune in and be a part of our discussion on how to practically teach these important parts of our heritage.
Thanks for all you do for the Kingdom of God!
Grace and Peace,
Bradley W. Alexander
Director of Student Ministries