WHO ARE WE?
We are a gathering of local churches and ministries from around Australia serving together under the umbrella of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia. We find our roots dating back to John Wesley who was a key component of 18th Century revivals in England. His desire was to spread the message of Scriptural Holiness around the world. This is our mandate today. From these beginnings came the ‘Holiness Movement’ and at its heart is the message of perfect love, which is to love God with all our heart, with all our mind and with all our strength and our neighbour as our self. (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)
We, the Wesleyan Methodists of Australia, are a part of a wider church that is connected together under the name, the Wesleyan Church. We are now found in over 80 nations. In 2011, worldwide Sunday morning worship attendance was 475,000 persons in more than 5,000 congregations. Worldwide total membership was 368,000.
In 1946, the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia was officially formed in Melbourne under the leadership of Kingsley Ridgway. While the initial beginnings were slow, we have now spread across the country with around 95 churches. Our people come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and communities. While we do celebrate our diversity, we also acknowledge the values that hold us together – such as our love for the word of God, the bible, our commitment to Christlikeness, our passion for disciple-making, and our call to servant leadership.
The message we share is a message we are experiencing everyday.
It is a message of hope, it is the message of love, and it is the message of life.
It is the message of Christ and the Cross.
Rev. Rex Rigby
Rev. Peter Dobson
Mr Doug Ring
Mrs Rose Richardson
The Wesleyan Methodist Church has grown out of a revival movement which has historically given itself to one mission – the spreading of scriptural holiness throughout every land. The message which ignited the Wesleyan revival was the announcement that God through Christ can forgive a person their sins, transform them, free them from inbred sin, enable them to live a holy life, and bear witness to their heart that they are indeed a child of God. The message was based on the Scriptures, was verified in personal experience, and came not only in word but in the power of the Spirit. It was dynamic and contagious, and was communicated from heart to heart and from land to land. It adapted itself to and gave new vitality and purpose to various kinds of Church Organisations.
The Wesleyan Methodist Church believes that to spread scriptural holiness throughout every land involves the entire church of Christ in mission to the world, including the following:
Sharing the divine revelation of full salvation through Christ as recorded in the Holy Scriptures so as to evangelise the lost and to minister redemptively to human society and its Institutions.
(1) Relating new converts to Local Churches and providing Spirit-filled and well-trained Pastors and leaders for the same.
(2) Developing in the converts patterns of worship to God and of fellowship with other believers.
(3) Discipling them in turn to be witnesses for their Lord.
(4) Guiding believers to experience entire sanctification so that they are enabled to live whole and holy lives.
(5) Providing for them lifelong nurture and instruction, encouraging each to grow toward spiritual maturity in Christ Jesus.
(6) Helping them to develop a Christian interpretation of life and the universe, training them to be good stewards of the talents, time, opportunities, and resources with which Christ has entrusted them.
(7) Equipping them for lives of dynamic service to God and humanity, so that the full potential God has designed for each of them may be realised.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Wesleyans believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Saviour of all who put their faith in Him alone for eternal life.
We believe that those who are made new in Christ are called to be holy in character and conduct, and can only live this way by being filled with the Lord’s Spirit.
We believe in the Bible and its sufficiency to establish our faith and conduct.
We believe God wills for people everywhere to know Him and be made new in Christ.
We believe that the purpose of the Church is to worship God in spirit and in truth, and to reach a lost and fallen world with the gospel of Jesus Christ through its worship, witness, and loving deeds.
The following are terms descriptive of who Wesleyans are and why they do what they do. They describe the “soul of the Church”:
BIBLICAL AUTHORITY: The Bible is God’s holy Word. It uniquely and infallibly reveals God’s plan for His people and how to live out that plan, individually and corporately. Beliefs, practices, priorities, and our mission are to be anchored in clear biblical teachings.
CHRISTLIKENESS: Jesus Christ is the defining feature of God’s will and relationship with all humankind. In Christ is found both newness of life and the highest and clearest example for godliness. People made new in Christ find Him to be the source of faith, hope, and love in both the inner life and in our outward actions engaging a world desperate for hope and life.
DISCIPLE-MAKING: Making disciples is a clear mandate from Christ. This requires a strong missional focus on evangelism and training in spiritual growth and holy living. Done effectively, this will produce and promote growth and health in and among the churches.
LOCAL CHURCH CENTRED: The denomination exists to help local congregations grow and multiply, be more healthy, and more authentically reflect God’s plan. Local churches are the most fundamental and strategic points of evangelism and discipleship. The challenge of the denomination is to keep finding the best ways to serve, strengthen, and multiply congregations.
SERVANT LEADERSHIP: Wesleyans respect leadership that is placed over them, while realising that the authority and effectiveness of spiritual leadership is not primarily bestowed, but earned, and is characterised by a loving and willing heart of obedience that serves God and mankind gladly. Wesleyans desire to be leaders in serving.
UNITY IN DIVERSITY: There is intrinsic value in every person. Biblical unity becomes all the more important and beautiful in the light of the wide-ranging differences in personalities, cultures, races, languages, talents, and perspectives. Finding unity and mutual love in Christ eliminates devaluation and deprivation of life to one another.
WORKING IN THE WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH
In the Wesleyan Methodist Church, churches are classified as Established, Developing and Pioneer Fellowships. While an Established Church can call a pastor, the pastors for other churches are appointed by the District.
Pastors wishing to be received into the Wesleyan Methodist Church from another denomination, need to join a local Wesleyan Methodist Church. The next step is to provide credentials, training transcripts and other records of employment to the relevant District Superintendent. The applicant will then be guided through a process that will determine the required additional study and review the “fit” to Wesleyan doctrine and theology.
Wesleyan pastors who desire to accept a call from a church in another District, must first obtain written permissions from the National Superintendent and the District Superintendent into which they wish to transfer.