Who Founded The United Methodist Church?

Who Founded The United Methodist Church?

From surviving a fire to founding a new sect of Christianity, John Wesley was one interesting guy.
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"Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come to watch you burn." — John Wesley

The United Methodist Church. Founded by John Wesley back in the 1700s when his brother Charles and his friends wanted something different than the Anglican Church, or Church of England as it's better known. John Wesley, a guy who's mother was an influential character in his life. John Wesley, the pastor's kid who followed in his father's footsteps. John Wesley, the guy who made it possible for me to find a church home.

Having grown up the son of an Anglican minister, there is no doubt that John Wesley has always had some sort of relationship with God. It's said that his mother Suzanne was more influential in his life than his father. He almost died in a fire in his childhood home. While traveling back to England after being in the New World he longed for the faith of the Moravians on a ship just within sight. He wanted the faith to praise God even in a storm in which he thought he would die. And when his heart was strangely warmed at Aldersgate, a meeting in which he didn't even wish to attend, he found a fire and a passion both for God and his people.

Wesley's movement began the formation of the United Methodist Church, called "Methodist" for our knack of doing things the same way over and over again. We are a young denomination. We didn't start our "reformation" until 200 years after Luther started the Protestant movement. We may be young, but that doesn't mean we are not might.

The mission of the United Methodist Church is to "Go and make disciples of all nations", based off of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28. That is what we do, we go and make disciples. We are a missional church, focused on bringing hope and love to people all around the world. UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is usually some of the first people on sight after a disaster. They have sent clean up buckets to Flint, West Virginia, Louisiana, and even Eastern Iowa just this year.

As a member of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church I cannot say how proud I am. As someone who back in 2008 used some of those clean up buckets in Cedar Rapids, who has gone on Mission Trips to help VIM (Volunteers In Mission) do relief, and someone who will be traveling to Louisiana this spring with my campus ministry program to help out brothers and sisters clean up after their disasters. I have seen first hand where the supplies go; I have worked with them and helped put them together.

A missional church. That is what we are. But we aren't just missionaries to people in far away places, we are also missionaries right here at home.

Morningside College, for the last 10 years, has put on a campus-wide event called "Into the Streets". We go out into the community for a day of no classes to give back to the community that gives so much to us. This year, the Campus Ministry team stayed right here at home and repainted our Chaplin's office. Last year? We cleaned out clean up buckets in preparation to send them off to be used. It's an event that, while it may not have intended to be this, helps us trace back to our United Methodist roots. Our mission and servants hearts.

Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can. A phrase that people to use to sum up Wesley's Three Simple Rules. 1. Do no harm. 2. Do good. 3. Stay in love with God. A phrase that we heard recently in a speech given by Hillary Clinton during her campaign. A phrase that I believe all of us should live by.

But my favorite parts of John's theology were that of grace, and the role that the laity play in the church.

Grace. John defines it in three ways. Prevenient grace. Grace that is given to us whether we accept it or not. It's God's active presence in our lives. Justifying grace. This is the grace of Christ's blood shed for our sins. The grace given to us so that we have everlasting life. Sanctifying grace. Almost can be described as salvation, but is the grace that allows us to live and grow as Christ lived. Threefold grace. It's a thing. And its an amazing thing.

The way that John looked at the laity, to me, is beautiful. He saw them as equal partners in ministry. Wesley, along with other protestants, saw them as priests, just called in a different way. Wesley gave them roles, such as lay servant and lay minister. He blessed them, saw them as equals, and showed them that they could be as influential as the pastor in the pulpit. How amazing? How wonderful? How inspiring.

So, there are the reasons I am madly in love with my United Methodist Church. John Wesley was a man that understood that we are all called by God, but in different ways. A man who empowered every day people like you and me. Empowered us to not be afraid, but to proclaim the mystery of faith.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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