The Methodist Church has started to promote A Methodist Way of Life. But why do we need it, and why now?
For many years the Methodist people have struggled to clearly identify what makes them any different to other Church traditions in the UK. What is the Methodist 'unique selling point'?
A Methodist Way of Life rekindles some of our traditions from the time of the Wesley brothers. It encourages us to focus on our commitment, and to make time to discuss the questions on the Commitment Cards with others. The emphasis is that we need to rediscover the importance of supporting each other in our Way of Life.
When challenged to share our experience of these commitments, the words 'Holy Huddle' might spring to mind. Yet it is more about mutual accountability. There are times when we all struggle with the four areas of Worship, Learning and Caring, Service and Evangelism. Or one of these four might become very strong and overpower the other three. A Methodist Way of Life encourages us to ensure that we balance the four areas. They are not there to give us a guilt trip about what we have not done, or as a measuring stick to ask how much of this or that we have done. Rather they are there to encourage us to move forward in our discipleship of Jesus Christ.
During these days of lockdown, A Methodist Way of Life becomes even more vital. Perhaps you, like me, have discovered that we can easily become tired even though we haven't been as busy as usual or the days appear to float by. A Methodist Way of Life is there to remind us of the things we can do.
We can pledge ourselves to worship daily. We can pledge ourselves to learn more of God, whether through reading the Bible or by noticing the activity of God within us and those around us. We can pledge ourselves to be in touch with at least one other person regularly and so seek to reduce the loneliness that abounds at the moment. And of course, as we notice God all around us, then we can start to grow in confidence about talking about God to everyone we meet, both inside and beyond the fellowship of All Saints Methodist Church.
A Methodist Way of Life is a big challenge for all of us, but at the same time, it is also a small and incremental change. It encourages us to recognise that we are people of faith, a living faith that is a real and practical, an everyday faith and not an isolated activity kept behind closed doors. It is a faith that we celebrate and share with each other.
So I wonder, who could you ask to support you in this life of faith and belief in God? What kind of adventure begins as we support each other in this way? Are we prepared to risk A Methodist Way of Life and see how God fills us and transforms us?
A Methodist Way of Life is there to encourage us on our way with God. May God bless us by it and may we be a blessing within and beyond God's church for the transformation of the world!
Ian and Selina
All Saints Methodist Church
There is free parking in our car park behind the Church in Dorchester Crescent.