Wesley's "Methods" for Revival

We could spur revival again, if we follow Wesley's emphasis on holiness and accountability.

Jonathan Wesley spurred a revival that impacted both England and America in the late 1700s. Wesley's followers were later called "Methodists" because of the methods Wesley used to bring about holiness in people's lives. Wesley prescribed three weekly methods that every believer needed to be a part of if they were serious about revival.

"Societies" were large group gatherings where Christians would come together for the purpose of worshipping and being taught the Scriptures. Out of these societies were "class meetings" where these same believers would meet in small groups to discuss how they might help one another truly live out their pursuit of personal holiness and obedience to God. Finally, out of these class meetings flowed a series of "bands" where three or four members of the same sex (men with men and women with women) would gather to hold one another accountable. When these bands met they started by asking each other five questions:

  1. What known sins have you committed since our last meeting?
  2. What temptations have you met with?
  3. How were you delivered?
  4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?
  5. Have you nothing you desire to keep secret?

Is it any wonder Jonathan Wesley's movement spurred a revival? Could such a revival be in our future if men and women today would become equally as serious about holiness? It could happen if Christians and churches would be committed to the same system of three weekly methods:

  • A weekly celebration service where we come together to worship God and be taught the Scriptures
  • A weekly cell or small group where we meet to help each other practically live out our desire to live in obedience to God and His Word
  • Out of our small groups, bands of three or four women or three or four men who meet weekly to genuinely and authentically hold one another accountable to godliness

article Preview

This article is currently available to SmallGroups.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter : Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


Personal Wisdom
What wisdom would you share with yourself?
Share Your Story
Share Your Story
Telling our story—and listening to others’ stories—transforms us.
Helping Your Group Connect with God
Helping Your Group Connect with God
Practical ideas for small-group worship
Music Appreciation
Listen to a worship song together.
Hold the Cheese
Three icebreakers that aren't cheesy
Justice, Mercy, and Grace
An icebreaker to illustrate these three common biblical terms