Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting
Implement the HEART of Wesleyan Methodism for the 21st Century
Author: Dr. Molly Davis Scott, Dr. James B. Scott
Publisher:   Provident Publishing
ISBN: 9780977867325
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Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting is a unique and compelling journey into our past where the reader actually experiences the life and the joy of the Wesleyan Class-Meeting through the original witnesses.

  • See what was the HEART of the Wesleyan/Methodist Movement
  • Learn what actually happened in a Class-Meeting
  • Discover the essential results for transformation
  • Find out how to infuse those dynamics into your life and your church today

James B. Scott and Molly Davis Scott:
The Scotts are pastors, missionaries, adjunct seminary professors, authors, and Elders in the Arkansas Conference of The United Methodist Church.

What Leaders Are Saying About

Endorsers for this new book come from 19 leaders — Bishops, General Superintendents, National Commander, theologians, pastors, and key lay leaders — from 8 Wesleyan/Methodist denominations:

  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • Church of the Nazarene
  • Evangelical Methodist Church
  • Free Methodist Church
  • The Salvation Army
  • United Methodist Church
  • The Wesleyan Church

This is an utterly unique book. The Scotts have succeeded in transporting us back vividly and realistically into the life of the Class-Meetings of early Methodism. In the process they have opened up a way into observing up close crucial elements in the life of Methodism that were clearly central to its identity and to its success. More importantly, they have also charted a way to recover the Class-Meetings for our own day. The challenge presented at this point is not for the fainthearted. However, if ever there is to be a recovery of Class-Meetings for the church today, this is the place to begin. If they succeed, they will have inaugurated a quiet revolution in the reception of grace as a life-giving power for the contemporary church. I bet John and Charles Wesley (and a host of early Methodists) are cheering them on from the balcony!

Dr. William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

All who have an interest in early Methodism will find Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting a pleasure to read. One will be both inspired and challenged by it. Through their research, Drs. James and Molly Davis Scott, allow one to vicariously experience the early Class-Meeting through the personal writings of actual participants. Through this experience, one can sense the vital energy (Holy Spirit power) at work in both the leaders and participants as they pursue “entire heart holiness.” The love, dedication and earnestness of the Class Leaders for their charges is moving. Why the Class-Meeting was instrumental in the growth of the Wesleyan movement becomes apparent as one reads through the accounts. The Scotts’ call to restore the Class-Meeting is a daunting challenge. But, if answered, could return a vitality to the United Methodist Church that it has long sought.

Bill Chissoe, President, South Central Jurisdictional Association of Directors of Lay Speaking Ministries

As a member of the Wesleyan tradition, I endorse and recommend this book as one which leads to a better understanding of John Wesley and Methodism.

Bishop Philip Robert Cousin, Presiding Prelate, Fourth Episcopal District, Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church

In reading the Scotts’ Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting, I found myself transported into a time when our church was indeed the Church militant, when commitment had meaning, and when the claim of faith was clear. The question kept intruding as I read, “If then, why not again?” This examination of the Class-Meeting is not about a wistful yearning for the past, but a not so subtle challenge for our future. Indeed, why not again?

Bishop Charles N. Crutchfield, Arkansas Conference, The United Methodist Church

You have done a superb job. I add my support for the printing and publishing of this book. The continuing effort to maintain the efforts and ministry of John Wesley is a challenge and a comfort to many in United Methodism. My good wishes and blessing are yours as you are also in ministry together in this endeavor.

Donna Echols, President, National Association of Conference Directors of Lay Speaking Ministries, The United Methodist Church

Those of us who share a Wesleyan heritage would benefit from restarting what was the engine of the movement. The Wesleyan Class-Meeting was the instrumental means of grace in the Wesleyan/Methodist movement not because it was a unique innovation by John Wesley but because it was the restoration of a New Testament practice.

Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, USA National Commander, The Salvation Army

Ironically, the way to reach a young generation may be a return to former ways. If the essence of the human spirit has not really changed since the days of John and Charles Wesley, we could use their methodology to impact our world for Christ. Jim and Molly are helping us reclaim our church with orthopraxy. When I heard of their work I thought, “My heart is as their hearts—I will lend them my hand!”

Dr. Tom Harrison, Senior Pastor, Asbury United Methodist Church , Tulsa, Oklahoma

Following our forty year wilderness journey since merger, the United Methodist Church is finally beginning to see glimpses of the Promise Land where our church will be renewed, revitalized and restored. Jim and Molly Scott have succeeded in recapturing the essence of our denomination in their book, Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting, which, ironically doesn't take us back, but propels us into a future full of hope.

Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr., Oklahoma Area, The United Methodist Church

The rise and spread of Methodism owed much to the Class-Meeting as a laboratory for developing a holy people, a people transformed by God’s grace who, in turn, had transforming impact upon their world. In this volume, Drs. James and Molly Scott share their insights into the nature of the Methodist Class-Meeting and the role it played in fueling the Methodist Movement. They contend persuasively that a rediscovery of the Class-Meeting dynamic in our churches would be a powerful means of grace with transforming impact on the church and the world. I will warmly commend this volume to our pastors and churches.

Bishop David W. Kendall, Free Methodist Church of North America

In Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting, not only do we celebrate a key element in the history of our spiritual ancestors, but are reminded that these methods are for today’s Methodists. The same process that previously led to great spiritual revolution can lead to another through the work of the Holy Spirit. Are today’s Methodists brave and spirited enough to receive the challenges and blessings to be found through the Wesleyan Class-Meeting and allow God to change the world through us? Jim and Molly Scott, the authors of this book, obviously believe we are and I pray we accept the challenge.

Bill Laycock, Corporate Executive, Lay Speaker, and Founder of GLORY KIDS!

We celebrate this exceptional and practical road map to guide us back to the basics of discipleship and spiritual formation. James and Molly Scott have provided us with a powerful key tool for the church today as we embrace the Master’s plan to be Christlike disciplers who make Christlike disciplers. The Wesleyan Class-Meeting small group accountability, as so powerfully described in Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting, may be just the grace-giving gift from the Holy Spirit that we so desperately need to renew the church and to impact our world with the advent of God’s Kingdom among us.

General Superintendent Jerry D. Porter, Church of the Nazarene

Early Methodism was so dynamic that by 1850, one out of every three Christians in the U.S. had committed to its membership. What did the movement offer in that period that helped members find such joy in their encounters with Christ? What caused them to enthusiastically invite friends, family and even casual acquaintances to the fellowship? The Scotts show us in researched detail the power of the Wesleyan Class-Meetings during that surge of Methodism. Today our laity has a subliminal yearning for the Class-Meeting structure of community, learning and accountability. We look longingly at the 50,000 Class-Meetings in the Methodist Episcopal Church North in the late 1800’s, and probably as many in the Methodist Episcopal Church South. This book is probing into a volcano of pent-up energy of our laity—we might want to get ready for the explosion!

Lyn Powell, President, Southeastern Jurisdiction Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders, Conference Lay Leader and Leader of the Delegation North Georgia Conference, Laity Address Speaker at 2008 General Conference

The Wesleyan Class Leaders system served as a powerful means of grace in the Wesleyan and Methodist Movements for 200 years. The thought that it could be restored to its former power is an intriguing and exciting possibility. Drs. Jim and Molly Scott have clearly challenged us to re-emphasize this vital dynamic approach within our churches.

Bishop George W. C. Walker, Sr., Senior Bishop/Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

The Scotts in their latest book have again looked to the past to find resources for renewal in the future. They have brought together a rich and inspiring collection of original witnesses to the life and power of Wesleyan Class-Meetings in the formative years of the movement. This is a rich resource for all Wesleyans.

Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership, Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.

The Scotts’ new book on Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting comes at a time when the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is calling for living according to the United Methodist Way. Methodists do have a distinctive and holistic way of living as disciples of Jesus Christ and receiving the salvation of God. The crucial means of grace for living the Christian life according to the Methodist Way is the Class-Meeting. The Scotts’ book brings us face to face with the experience of being in a Class-Meeting, and helps bring to life the meaning of this means of grace that must be recovered in some form for our time if we are to practice the Methodist Way of discipleship and salvation.

Bishop Tim W. Whitaker, Florida Area, The United Methodist Church

The Scotts’ thorough research into Wesleyan Class-Meetings demonstrates the power of accountable discipleship to cultivate the journey toward Christian Perfection. The discipleship process demands involvement in a small group. Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting is vital to enable babes in Christ to become mature disciples. I commend this work as foundational in this journey to renewal.

Bishop D. Max Whitfield, New Mexico and West Texas Conferences, The United Methodist Church

The Class-Meeting of early Methodism was the powder ignited by the Spirit that resulted in the explosive Missional growth into the hearts of ordinary people. The model focused on small groups was the method Jesus used, first the Twelve disciples and specifically three of the Twelve. A church leader will find here the same biblical methods used by Jesus and John Wesley written for our century.

General Superintendent Edward W. Williamson, Evangelical Methodist Church

I have known, first hand, the power of Class-Meetings when I served a church in Fort Lauderdale. The church was growing. The people were meeting in Class-Meetings and ministries to the poor and others were growing faster than I had ever seen in my life. This book contains the ingredients and history of the Methodist Class-Meetings. Any local church which takes this book and implements its important findings will experience the same growth in membership and ministries that characterized the early Methodist Churches. If we are to live “the Methodist Way,” this book by Jim and Molly Scott will guide our churches to renewal, growth, and ministries.

Bishop Richard J. Wills, Jr., Tennessee and Memphis Conferences, The United Methodist Church

The influence of Methodism upon the world has been well documented. What has not been so well documented in recent years is the reason for that influence. In this volume, Drs. James and Molly Scott remind us that what John Wesley taught was not only to be embraced as dogma but practiced. Wesley taught that “true religion” includes both stewardship and servanthood, a right relation with God and benevolence to our fellow-creatures. To reach the level required by God of both personal holiness and social holiness a person must experience the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. There is a call in this volume for a reaffirmation of sanctification as part of the salvation process. Today in Methodism, as in Wesley’s day, where sanctification is preached, taught, and observed as lifestyle, not only do churches grow but true religion on the personal level results. I commend Restoring Methodism and Restoring the Wesleyan Class-Meeting to our pastors and churches believing that it will help us recapture the essence of Wesley’s teaching which produced one of the greatest movements of revival and reform the world has ever known.

General Superintendent Earle L. Wilson, The Wesleyan Church

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