I passionately believe that a process of discipleship is the best way to equip followers of Jesus Christ to grow and mature in their service of Him. There are many options as to how this is best achieved.
George Whitefield was an amazingly effective evangelist in the 1800’s, he was a contemporary of John Wesley. Wesley was renowned for his discipled approach to the work of the kingdom, organising his converts into larger and smaller groups (class meetings) that none might be lost and that greater depth in their love for, and walk with, the Lord be achieved. Whitefield was less structured simply desiring that men and women should be saved but, arguably, not thinking as much about future spiritual growth.
I recently discovered the conversation below which took place towards the end of Whitefield’s life. It is worth pondering.
Whitefield met an old friend, Mr John Pool and accosted him in the following manner:
“Well, John, art thou still a Wesleyan?”
Pool replied, “Yes, sir, and I thank God that I have the privilege of being in connection with him, and one of his preachers.”
“John,” said Whitefield, “thou art in the right place. My brother Wesley acted wisely—the souls that were awakened under his ministry he joined in class, and thus preserved the fruits of his labor. This I neglected, and my people are a rope of sand.”