1. Wesleyanism celebrates lavish grace.
This includes prevenient grace, justifying grace and sanctifying grace.
2. Wesleyanism celebrates holiness.
In fact, Wesleyan doctrine can be summed up in two words: grace and holiness. That’s our great claim. Our tradition isn’t primarily about a form of worship (though we have written thousands of songs to God). It isn’t primarily about getting people out of hell (though Wesley preached that we should flee the wrath to come). It doesn’t claim to be charismatic, though we honor the gifts of the Spirit. It isn’t doctrinally heavy, though we certainly consider ourselves creedal. At its core, Wesleyanism is about claiming a free gift of salvation then working it out daily with fear and trembling. It is a call to live a holy life.
3. Wesleyanism celebrates the will made free by the work of the Holy Spirit.
We refuse any attempt to limit the work of Jesus to only those who are in the “up elevator,” and we stand by our right to get saved … again.
4. Wesleyanism celebrates the Bible.
We love and study the Word of God. We are people of the Book, and recent decisions made within my Wesleyan denomination at the international level make me more confident than ever of our denomination’s ability to honor the integrity of scripture.
5. Wesleyanism celebrates diversity.
Frankly, I’m helped by being in a tradition that doesn’t require me to believe everything it believes in order to be in fellowship. And while some issues are deal-breakers for me, there is a great deal of latitude for which I’m grateful. I can be a low-church, charismatic with a strong preference for baptism by immersion and still be Wesleyan, without having to embrace any one of those spiritual preferences as a salvific issue.
6. Wesleyanism celebrates practical acts of mercy and justice.
We are do-ers of the Word, and we double-dog-dare you to show us authentic faith without works. We are committed to service that leads to salvation and we are particularly fond of healing in all its forms. We love 12-step programs (heck, we invented grape juice!).
7. Wesleyanism celebrates the Trinity.
We seek balance in our love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We honor our Creator as we live the teachings of Jesus and strive for intimacy with God through the Holy Spirit.
8. Wesleyanism celebrates accountability.
Even though I lament it more than I celebrate it, it is a fact that our theological connection is a strength. I’m not a free agent out there under a tent abusing people in Jesus’ name. I’m also not totally responsible for knowing when I’m effective and when I’m not. In my tradition, there are people keeping watch over my ministry who will let me know when its time to move on without booting me out on the street because the fit isn’t right.
9. Wesleyanism celebrates the sacramental life.
We love baptism and have a renewed passion for the Eucharist. We trust in the means of grace and believe God will show up in practical acts of piety, but we see those acts as servants, not masters of our life with Christ. We passionately pursue a personal relationship with Jesus and are not bound by forms of religion.
10. Wesleyanism celebrates me as a person.
Without embracing liberalism, we can embrace God’s call on every life and celebrate gender equality. I am deeply grateful to the people called Wesleyan for not only allowing me to fully express my call to preach and lead, but encouraging me to do so. That has been the greatest gift and I serve out of gratitude for a tribe that loved me to Jesus, then loved me into leadership.