John Wesley’s Field Preaching: Its Cause and Effect


Lyu, Won-Yuol

한국실천신학회 신학과 실천 제21호 2009.11 pp.199-224
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John Wesley was a great preacher in England in the eighteenth century.
Now he is remembered as the theological and spiritual father of his followers who are both in the Methodist tradition and in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition. The purpose of this paper is to investigate a significant characteristic of John Wesley's preaching ministry, which is his field preaching. The great majority of Wesley's sermons were preached in the fields and the streets rather than in the parish churches. "Why did Wesley go out to the streets and fields in his days?" "Why did he mostly preach out of doors instead of preaching in his parish church?" "What was the result of his field preaching ministry?" These questions will be the main concern of this paper. I will investigate several factors which were directly or indirectly related to the beginning of Wesley's field preaching. They will be Moravian influences, Wesley's Aldersgate Experience, George Whitefield's invitation to Bristol, the social and economic situation at Bristol, and the start of Wesley's field preaching at Bristol. In spite of the official objection of the Anglican Church to Wesley's preaching practice in outdoors, Wesley's field preaching had a great success, establishing the heritage of a great Methodist revival movement in England in the eighteenth century and later in America in the nineteenth century. After experiencing all the despair of the outside world in the time of industrial revolution in England, Wesley put all the priorities into field preaching because of the value, importance, and power of the field preaching, which was spoken to the unchurched and forlorn masses.


I. Introduction
 II. John Wesley's Preaching
  Moravian Influences
  George Whitefield's Invitation to Bristol
  Wesley at Bristol
  Wesley as Field Preacher
 III. Conclusion


  • Lyu, Won-Yuol Full-time Lecturer Namseoul University


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