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Five Means of Grace

Experience God's Love the Wesleyan Way

Five Means of Grace by Elaine A. Heath
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John Wesley gave the Methodist movement (and all Christians in general) a discipleship pathway to follow. Wesley began with Three Simple Rules (or “General Rules”), and followed this instruction a year later with the Five Marks of a Methodist (or “Character of a Methodist”). Wesley observed the need for continuous renewal of relationships with God and others, so he established a recurring annual process for God’s people to make One Faithful Promise: The Wesleyan Covenant for Renewal. The study by Heath turns to the practices at the center of Wesley’s understanding of spiritual growth: the means of grace.

This book/study guides readers through the five means of grace that John Wesley called “instituted,” meaning these are spiritual practices in which Jesus himself participated and which he encouraged his followers to do. One of the beautiful aspects of Wesley’s theology is that spiritual practices are seamlessly integrated with practices of loving our neighbors well. This is why Wesley said there is no holiness but social holiness. A life of genuine prayer inevitably leads to a life of hospitality, mercy, and justice.

Through this book/study participants will consider how each of the five means of grace help us as communities of faith to pray more deeply and live more missionally as followers of Jesus Christ. These means are the ordinary channels that God uses to draw us into a fruitful relationship. These five means or channels are:

1. Prayer
2. Searching Scripture
3. Receiving the Lord’s Supper
4. Fasting
5. Conferencing (communion, fellowship)

"Surely John Wesley wanted his teachings to be presented in clear and understandable ways.  Elaine Heath’s teaching on the Five Means of Graceare simple and engaging with deep truths.  Your group will love it!" -Jennifer Cowart (Executive pastor at Harvest Church, a United Methodistcongregation in Warner Robins, GA, near Macon. She co-preaches anddirects Discipleship and Emerging Ministries at Harvest UMC.)

"ElaineHeath is one of the church’s great teachers and prophets. With engagingstories and clear understanding of Scripture she invites us toexperience God’s love through ancient practices that we desperatelyneed.  I will be using Five Means of Grace with my congregationas an invitation for those seeking a deeper pathway into discipleship."- Rev. Jacob Armstrong, Providence United Methodist Church, MountJuliet TN.

"Methodists are followers of Jesus who are guided by a “rule oflife”, a set of common spiritual practices that put us in a place wherewe are more likely to experience God’s transforming grace.  This briefvolume is deceptively filled with guidance for those who would allow theHoly Spirit to guide them.  I am grateful to Elaine Heath, whocontinues to lead us again to the ordinary channels where the streams ofmercy, justice and righteousness flow.” - Ken Carter, Resident Bishop,Florida Area, The United Methodist Church and co-author, Fresh Expressions:  A New Kind of Methodist Church for People Not in Church

Abingdon Press; September 2017
ISBN 9781501835650
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Five Means of Grace
Author: Elaine A. Heath