The Methodist Class Leader
About this course
This course examines the office of Methodist class leader. In early Methodism, every member of a Methodist society was put under the care of a class leader — a more mature Christian who took responsibility for nurturing the spiritual development of a group of about 12 others, to translate their faith into disciplined Christian living.
Class leaders and class meetings were part of the genius of the original Methodist movement. They were a highly effective means of pastoral nurture and oversight, first in John Wesley's early societies, and then in the family of Methodist Churches throughout the world. Yet, in many branches of Methodism today, the office no longer exists or has devolved into a merely token role.
This course draws on the extensive work of Dr. David Lowes Watson, a leading scholar of Methodist history and an advocate for the revitalization of the office of class leader to provide a more intentional approach to faith formation and accountable discipleship in today's church. The course explores the historic role of class leaders, why the role faded as Methodism became more established, reasons to consider revitalizing the role of class leaders, and what the church today can learn from the ministry of class leaders.
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