John Wesley was already a Christian, but felt there was something lacking in his faith. He took a trip to the colony of Georgia. While sailing to the new colony, their ship encountered a tremendous storm. Beebe and Foster write, “Wesley was overwhelmed by the courage and faith of his fellow passengers, the Moravians. As waves crashed across the top of the ship and their demise seemed imminent, Wesley could hear the Moravians singing and praising God.” This experience had a great impact on Wesley.

In fact, Wesley included “experience” as the fourth source for our paths to knowing God. These four sources are known as “The Wesleyan Quadrilateral.” The four sources are Scripture (the primary source), reason, tradition, and experience.
Wesley was also greatly concerned with community. He was a great organizer. As he went around proclaiming the Gospel, he organized new converts into different sized groups. Each person was expected to belong to three. The largest group Wesley called “Societies.” Societies were essential congregational churches. These societies gathered for worship, fellowship, and nurture. The next group Wesley called “Classes.” Classes were groups of no more than 50, organized for instruction and prayer. The smallest groups were “Bands.” Bands were single-sex groups of no more than 10 that met every week for accountability (“mutual, loving confession”). These groups became the method in “Methodism.”
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