Let’s start with the history. The Methodist “class meeting” was started in 1742 when a group of Methodists were trying to pay off a building debt in Bristol. These meetings were divided into groups of 12 people where one person in each group was designated leader and responsible for visiting each person every week in order to collect one penny in order to pay off the building debt.
As this plan was put into practice, it became apparent that many Methodists were not keeping the “General Rules”, which were: do no harm, do good, and practice the means of grace (i.e., prayer, searching the Scriptures, receiving communion). Similarly, many of the attendees happily experienced Christian fellowship for the first time.
This class meeting quickly developed into much more than a capital campaign. It became a crucial tool for enabling Methodists to watch over one another in love and support and encourage one another. In fact, John Wesley thought the oversight and support the class meeting provided was so important, it became a requirement for membership in a Methodist society.
Fast forward to today, we believe the new connect groups (and the existing ones) allow us to “watch over one another in love”. We are called to invite others into our lives so that we can grow in grace. We still believe we need one another in order to persevere on this journey.
We hope you will make time to join us on Jan. 13 to learn more about our church’s Connect Groups.