Monday, March 22, 2010
Primitive Methodists and rapid mobilization
Steve Addison identifies rapid mobilization as a common characteristic of movements in his book “Movements that Change the World”.
The Primitive Methodist movement was mobilized by ordinary people in lay leadership, in the form of local preachers and travelling preachers. Local preachers preached in a circuit, whereas travelling preachers ministered across a much wider geographical area.
The travelling preachers were missionaries who “missioned” towns and villages by holding outdoor preaching meetings, or meeting in any available public space such as fields, barns, or empty factories.
In each location they raised up converts and members. The members then gathered to form a local “society” and tickets for membership were issued. In 1852 there were 560 travelling preachers and 9,350 local preachers. By 1888, there were 1041 travelling preachers and 16,219 local preachers.