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Pursuing Social HolinessThe Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought and Popular Methodist Practice$
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Kevin M. Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336364

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336364.001.0001

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John Wesley’s Structure and Theology of Discipleship

John Wesley’s Structure and Theology of Discipleship

(p.39) 2 John Wesley’s Structure and Theology of Discipleship
Pursuing Social Holiness

Kevin M. Watson

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines John Wesley’s “method” and theology of discipleship. The first part of the chapter argues that Wesley believed that holiness is necessary, not an optional part of the Christian life. Wesley further insisted that there is “no holiness but social holiness.” By this, Wesley meant that people best grow in love for God and neighbour by gathering together to “watch over one another in love.” The second part of the chapter outlines the role of the society meeting, the class meeting, and the band meeting in early Methodism. The society meeting was a context of corporate worship. The class meeting was a co-ed small group that focused on each person answering the question: “How does your soul prosper?” Band meetings had five to seven people, were divided by gender and marital status, and focused on the confession of specific sins in order to grow in holiness.

Keywords:   band meeting, class meeting, confession, holiness, John Wesley, Methodist method, social holiness, society meeting, theology of discipleship

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