The Class Meeting by Kevin M. Watson describes the kind of Christian group that appeals to me. The format of the Class Meeting is actually from the eighteenth century, and John Wesley is given much of the credit for it’s design and impact. The principle behind a modern-day Class Meeting is to become doers of the Word, not just learners. This aligns perfectly with a phrase from Jesus’ Great Commission, “…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
It seems to me that most “small groups” in the USA church are either affinity groups based on having fun, or studies based on collecting knowledge. Class Meetings are designed to enable group member to live more holy lives. Let me share a few ideas from the book.
- The class meeting is essential because it is a logical, practical, and proven way to make disciples. It forms righteous thinking (orthodoxy) and righteous action (orthopraxy).
- Judgment does not prevail in Class Meetings. Unless I have asked to be accountable, rarely will the Class Meeting members hold me accountable. The person who judges me is myself. The Class Meeting is a weekly self-inventory of my own life.
- People who protest against the Class Meeting because it may be uncomfortable must admit that comfort isn’t a good indicator of whether something is good for me or whether I need to do it. Comfort is focused on my desires, not God’s desires.
Honestly, what would happen if the church would actually live what they already know they should do? The book is designed to enable the reader to start a Class Meeting. If you are desperate to become more holy, check it out. If you’re comfortable and want to stay that way, the book will only make you uncomfortable.
My notes on this book can be downloaded in MS Word format from the blue “FILES box” in the left side-bar of this blog.