I have always really loved Wesley and even his contemporaries. I really believe they an amazing and revolutionary group of people. In many ways I aspire to be like them today. The back drop to which Westley and his contemporaries rose was an England that was under a lot of strain. Poverty was endemic in the poor class with people living in squalor and being addicted to alcohol in great measure and children having to earn a wage in terrible conditions at such an early age. The rest of Europe had seen revolutions but there had only been small outbreaks in Britain but nothing like the French Revolution. The industrial revolution was just around the corner and Britsin ruled the waves with its Empire in many continents perhaps for the richer class life looked good but not for the poorer class.
Furthermore the poorer classes were outlawed from Church buildings where the Anglican Church had become very middle class. I believe that all that Wesley stood for and did created a catalyst for doing things and seeing things differently in the future. Although Westley believed that he properly became a Christian after his encounter with God and a revelation of grace through meeting the Movarians. From reading about his history it sounds like he had a relationship with God even before this and he was already doing some incredible exploits being involved in social action even whilst he was at University, this seems to have continued throughout his life.
It is true though that there is something incredible about his life after his grace encounter and it can not be denied that his anointing changed and became more powerful. When I think of how much he traveled by horse and the times he was ministering and working, I have wondered to myself when did he get time for a quiet time when did he spend time with God. When did he have time to read the Bible and get fresh revelation to share with the people. How amazing was his wife and family that they managed to stay together even when he was away for weeks on end. The sacrifices that he made to share the gospel we're huge and extremely challenging. The type of open air preaching Westley did is reminiscent of Jesus and Paul's preaching right back at the very beginning. I've always wondered how did people hear him as there was no amplification of any type then, no wonder the people would climb trees to hear him, did the people who fell out die ?
So not only did Wesley start the Methodist church by default by preaching to the poor but he was also involved in social reform which is something that is very close to my heart. As an evangelist and simply as a Christian it is vital that we preach the gospel for people to be added to the kingdom. Nonetheless we must not only preach good news but we must be good news getting involved in advocacy being a voice to the voiceless. I love the fact that he was involved in the Abolition of Slavery something very close to my heart. I often look like figures like Westley, Mullier and Wilberforce and think what am I doing with my life what kind of effect am I having. These people challenge me at my core they lead me to strive, push forward and always believe there is always more I could be doing. These people didnot make excuses and they caused some massive changes. With austerity it is time once again that we took our place as the Kingdom of God and affect the change and transformation of this nation. In a time when the welfare system, The NHS and other social nets are falling apart as the Children of God we cannot sit back and just wait for our ticket to heaven to be collected we must bring heaven to earth and make a difference being the good news to society because it really needs it right now!