While I was still in Bible College, my homiletics teacher, Rev. Jesse K. Moon, taught us that some sermons are timely (meant to be preached for a defined, specific time) and others are timeless (preachable at any time). A few weeks ago, I downloaded to my iPad a book written back in 1746 containing what I consider to be a combo message (both timely and timeless). John Wesley’s Advice to a People Called Methodist was written to the fledgling group of congregations forming to become the Methodist denomination. And yet, some 260+ years later, this message and admonition needs to be preached again and again today both to the Body of Christ at large and Pentecostal/Charismatic children’s ministry leaders and workers in particular. Below are some passages from the sermon.
“And as much offence as you give by your name, you will give still more by your principles. You will give offence to the bigots for opinions, modes of worship, and ordinances, by laying no more stress upon them; to the bigots against them, by laying so much; to men of form, by insisting so frequently and strongly on the inward power of religion; to moral men, (so called,) by declaring the absolute necessity of faith, in order to acceptance with God. To men of reason you will give offence, by talking of inspiration and receiving the Holy Ghost ….”
” … Keep in the very path wherein you now tread. Be true to your principles. Never rest again in the dead formality of religion.”
“Yet expect not that others will deal thus with you. No: Some will endeavour to fright you out of your principles; some to shame you into a more popular religion, to laugh and rally you out of your singularity.”
Wesley’s advice back in 1746 is still applicable today. Let me remind you of your DNA. You are a blood-bought child of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, a passionate lover of the Word of God, and a devil-frightening dynamo for the Kingdom. Nothing more. Nothing less. Don’t change who you are. Don’t dumb down your assignment. Don’t settle for anything less than a Holy Spirit inspired, endorsed, and equipped ministry. It’s true that not everyone will embrace this way of thinking … but Heaven does!
Meditate upon Wesley’s admonition and then share it with those who work alongside of you. Selah.