A grassroots movement
It is a strong feature of Methodism that ordinary
lay people play a major part in the running of the
Local lay people called 'stewards' take
responsibility for the fabric of church buildings and manses and
for the handling of money. They share with ordained ministers the
role of setting direction for the churches in a particular area or
Worship each week is not always led by an
ordained minister, but often by a local preacher - a lay person who
has been trained and authorized to lead worship and preach. Every
ordained minister in the Methodist Church was first a local
At all levels of the Methodist Church, lay people
are involved in decision making, and the vice-president of the
Conference is always a lay person.
This emphasis goes back to the roots of
Methodism. John Wesley was very much a folk theologian who wanted
to speak 'plain truth to plain people'. He took seriously the
working people of his day. He addressed his preaching to them, and
drew great crowds in the street or on hillsides.
He also trusted them with responsibilities. In
building the local Methodist groups or 'societies', he trained many
lay people who then maintained the meetings and gave pastoral care
and challenge to the members. He also trained preachers, who led
worship locally, rather than travelling the country like
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Make a Journey of Faith
What is the Methodist Church?
What do Methodists believe?
What happens during Methodist worship?
Can I get married in a Methodist Church?
Can my baby be baptized in a Methodist Church?
You'll find the answers to these and other
questions in Make a Journey of Faith - a short
introduction to the Methodist Church.
free Make a Journey of Faith ebook
epub file* Right-click and choose 'Save Target As'.
For churches wishing to deepen their welcome to
visitors and newcomers, a printed edition of the booklet is
available from Methodist Publishing. It is priced £5
(plus postage and packaging) and sold in packs of 50.