These are my notes for Chilcote’s Recapturing the Wesleys’ Vision, chapter 7: “Transformational Vocation: Christ and Culture.”
1. “It is not so much that the church has a mission or ministries; rather, the church is mission” (p. 94). “The Wesleys pressed the question, what is the essential calling of the church?” Their conclusion: God’s mission. But “the church of Wesley’s England had exchanged its true vocation–mission–for maintenance.”
2. “Baptism becomes a powerful symbol of God’s presence and purpose in and for the church” (p. 96). Baptism initiates a person into this missional community called the Church. And it is congruent with Wesley’s thinking to refer to baptism as our “ordination” for the general ministry of all the baptized.
3. Wesleyan evangelism combined invitational preaching and vibrant small groups (pp. 97-100). “The Wesleys clearly understood that Christianity is more caught than taught. As important as preaching was…of equal significance was the ministry of small groups within the Methodist structure” (p. 99).
4. “The primary question for the Methodist is not, am I saved? The ultimate question is, for what purpose am I saved?” (p. 101) The answer, of course, is “others.” Wesley’s mission included caring for the poor, healing the sick, and liberating the oppressed, as well as “saving souls.” His was a holistic gospel and all who received it were challenged to embrace that mission.