Monday, March 2, 2015

What we are learning from the Primitive Methodists - Part four

This is the last in the series of four reflections on what we are learning from the Primitive Methodists, in an Australian context, through Praxeis.

We are learning to reach the whole nation

Like the Primitive Methodists, we seek to make followers of Jesus (disciples) in the “harvest fields” of the people of this nation. John Benton was a pioneer and Travelling Preacher, who believed that Primitive Methodism should be allowed to go through the whole of England. He had a passion for the nation.

In Praxeis we are grappling with the Great Commission of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations (Mattthew 28:19). For us this means the vast continent of Australia and the nations beyond. We are sending evangelists into the harvest fields of this nation of Australia. So far we have workers in places as diverse as Alice Springs, Perth, Melbourne, Western Sydney and regional Queensland, working with Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, as well as indigenous Australians and secular Australians.

Here is a video clip of Ron and Paula Turner, who are committed to the people of outback Queensland, an area larger than France and Belgium combined. Their talk is called

 Missions in the Madness: Clueless with Expectations.

Please pray for us in Australia. One of the early Dutch explorers called this country “The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit”. Pray that this prophetic word will be fulfilled, and that the Spirit of God will move across our nation, just as Primitive Methodism did two hundred years ago in England.

Related Links
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Monday, February 23, 2015

What we are learning in Australia from Primitive Methodism - part 3

Praxeis is a movement based in Melbourne with a vision to reach the nation of Australia. Here is the third way that we are learning from the Primitive Methodists.

We are learning to shout

Shouting is a biblical form of worship. Many of the psalms exhort us to shout to the Lord (e.g. Psalm 100). It is a powerful way of praying. The early Primitive Methodists often had a shout as part of their prayer meetings, which were often so noisy that they were asked if God was deaf. Here in Melbourne, we have a shout at the end of an early morning prayer meeting each Saturday. On another occasion we had a loud shout with about eighty people present. After twenty minutes of shouting, it was followed by an awesome silence.

Shouting is simply praying out loud, where everyone prays in a loud voice together. We are learning that a shout is a valid form of prayer and worship, sadly neglected in our contemporary church.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What we are learning from Primitive Methodism - part two

“Praxeis” is a movement based in Melbourne with a vision to reach the nation of Australia. Here is the second of four ways that we are learning from the Primitive Methodists.

2. We are learning to make disciples who make disciples
For Primitive Methodist new believers their faith was more precious than gold. These new believers in turn made many converts. In our terminology they were disciples, who in their turn made disciples. A disciple is an obedient follower of Christ. Like the Primitive Methodists, this means we are seeking to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ, who from day one can bring their friends and family to know Him.

Related links

1.What we are learning from Primitive Methodism - part one

2. Praxeis website

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What we are learning from Primitive Methodism - part one

Praxeis” is a movement based in Melbourne with a vision to reach the nation of Australia. The word “Praxeis” is the Greek word for “Acts”, as in the Acts of the Apostles.

Australia consists of some 23 million people, of almost every nation and language group in the world. Australia is a so-called multi-cultural society, with a significant proportion of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and many other religious groupings. It is a geographically large continent, with four time zones, and vast distances between major cities. This is the first of four ways that we are learning from the Primitive Methodists.

1. We are learning that prayer is "core business"

We are learning that prayer is not an optional extra, where we ask God to bless our activity and programmes. Rather we are learning that prayer is a process of listening to God, hearing his voice, and responding in obedience to God's word. Hugh Bourne recognised the importance of cottage prayer meetings, and he called those who prayed the "pious praying labourers". Prayer meetings were powerful times and new converts were remarkably strong in their new found faith. We are learning that it is in prayer meetings that the “DNA” of Praxeis is transmitted.

In much of our conventional ministry, programmes and activities lack the active presence of the Spirit of God. Passionate, persistent prevailing prayer is like putting petrol into the fuel tank. Without prayer, we are attempting to drive a car that has run out of petrol. We can go through the motions, with our feet on the pedals, and hands on the wheel, but there is no power to move the car forward.

Find more information on the  Praxeis website

Monday, November 3, 2014

Prayer and the fight against the slave trade

In 1791 John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, wrote to William Wilberforce to encourage him in his fight against slave trade.

In his biography of Wilberforce, Eric Metaxas makes this observation on Wesley's advice:
"The ... point Wesley was making was that it was not merely a political or a cultural battle. It was a spiritual battle. When Wesley wrote, 'you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils,' he was not using a colorful metaphor. He meant it literally.

To fight something as wicked as the slave trade was to go against an invisible demonic host. God has the power to fight them, but we do not. That spiritual reality lay behind the political reality, and Wesley wanted to ensure that Wilberforce understood that if he was to be successful in what lay ahead. Great men like Wilberforce and Wesley had the humility and wisdom to know that whatever strengths they had - and they had many - they could not win without a total reliance on God. At its core, every battle worth fighting is a spiritual battle. Those men were able to succeed only because they humbled themselves and entrusted the battle to God.

But how does one do that?

This brings us to the second way that Wilberforce did what he did. The one-word answer is prayer. Wilberforce prayed and read the Scriptures every day, and he prayed with many others over these issues and concerns."

Eric Metaxas, Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness, p48.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My great ... grandfather (or grand mother ) was a Primitive Methodist

A common question I often get asked is "do you have any details on ... (my relative)?".

Here are some useful links that may help you to find the information you need on the ancestor you are researching:

Primitive Methodist

Wesleyan Methodist
Primitive Methodist women