Had a stimulating breakfast with Dave and Dina Horne, area directors for Europe with Global Partners. They stimulated some thoughts along the lines of an earlier post I made on letting the Wesleyan movement begin. (P.S. Don't blame them for the random thoughts that rattle around in my head)
One is that Wesley really was ministering in a sort of "post-Christian" England. I don't mean post-Christian in the sense that no one believed in God or Christ any more (although there were several David Humes and Jeremy Benthams running around). I mean post-Christian in the sense that the fire had gone out. It was, in a sense, burned over ground for Christian business as usual.
But it makes me wonder whether a "Wesley" model would work better in places like England, Europe, and Russia today than a "plant a church" model. Wesley did not plan to start or plant churches. He set up small groups, little house churches, if you would, within the established church (bands, societies).
So if I were to go as a missionary to England, I think the precisely wrong model would be to rent a space to have Wesleyan worship services that compete with the local Anglican church. And, ironically, that isn't even the Wesley model. The Wesley model was to set up small groups of people who attended the local Anglican church on Sunday morning.
In Germany, you would set up small groups made up of Lutherans and Catholics. In Russia, you would set up small groups of Orthodox. The goal would not be to get them out of the church they are in but for them to become vibrant Lutherans, Catholics, and Orthodox believers. If something else comes of it, that's fine too. But he goal would not be indoctrination of theology but changed lives. If the heart comes, the head will follow.
I know I'm pretty late to the game with these ideas... what, am I fifty years late? two hundred? Please excuse me for being excited about what for me was new spark.