In The Class Meeting, Kevin Watson pulls a play from the playbook of John Wesley and brings it to life for today’s Church.
"Because most small groups are built around curricular study resources, people rarely get down to the real substance of what small groups are all about: transformation, or becoming like Christ. Most Christians know much more than they are practicing or applying to their lives. Class meetings were essential for the first Methodists, and they are essential today, because they helped people grow in faith in Christ and learn how to follow Jesus with their lives." - Kevin Watson
The Class Meeting turns decisively to a time tested and proven method presenting a new solution. Though the early Methodists were a “people of one book,” they utilized the small group structure not to study the bible, but rather to lovingly engage one another in conversations about their souls. They developed a language and vocabulary to talk at deep levels about what the Holy Spirit was doing in their lives.
Watson's book unfolds a vision and a practical strategy for developing small groups that are much simpler than the typical group, while being more productive and with greater spiritual depth. The Class Meeting is structured into an eight-week study resource designed for a small group to work through together. Along the way, your group will be progressively equipped with a shared language to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit in the inner person and a structure for holding these kinds of meetings. After eight weeks, the book is laid aside and the class meeting is born.
Kevin M. Watson is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Seattle Pacific University. He is an ordained elder in Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church. He has written for academic and more popular audiences on Wesleyan discipleship. Read his blog at vitalpiety.com where he writes on small groups (particularly the Wesleyan class meeting and band meeting), Wesleyan/Methodist Christianity, the history of early Methodism, common misunderstandings of the Wesleyan tradition, and current events in The United Methodist Church.
*Church leaders interested in a free preview copy for possible congregational use can email micah.smith(at)seedbed.com.