The Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand (WMCNZ) is part of a global network of Wesleyan churches and is a member of the World Methodist Conference. As our name suggests we proudly sit within the arc of historical Methodism and with its most influential founder, John Wesley.
To use terms that help identify our faith tradition, we would be known as Protestant, orthodox, evangelical, and Arminian. We’re proud of the fact that we carry a certain ‘catholic spirit’ that could be explained as having a willingness to recognise the validity of the breadth of the Christian expression and a desire to link with others around the things that we have in common. We have much to learn from each other.
As Wesleyan Methodists we seek to live in the presence of God and have that presence shape everything about who we are, how we live and how we relate to the world.
Methodism, through John and Charles Wesley, came to the fore in England during the 1700s and 1800s. It was a time of significant social change and with it came a renewal of faith that helped fuel significant developments throughout the wider society. John Wesley gave structure to this resurgence in faith through developing a network of small groups where people were accountable to one another.
This mass renewal of individuals, from the elite right through to the poor, drove much social change because a flow on of people grasping the Gospel and being transformed by it towards true inner holiness, is that we then naturally live in a way that can only benefit the world in which we find ourselves.
This fueled things like the fight against the slave trade, educating working children, improving literacy among the poor (leading to the rise of a middle class), improving the conditions of prisoners, paying the debts of those who were imprisoned for what they owed to others, missionary work, and even our own Treaty of Waitangi can be traced to the effect of all of it on the British Colonial Office of the time.
In the Methodism of John Wesley and those early enthusiasts so devoted to their faith and a lived holiness, was a wonderful mix of a high sacramentalism, liturgical expressions of worship that shaped their imaginations, openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit (look up the Aldersgate and Fetter Lane experiences of John Wesley), a desire to be faithful to God’s vision for a redeemed world through the transformation of individuals, and a battle against that which falls short of God’s intention for humanity.
Over the years Methodism has gone through various changes and forms. The beauty of that can be seen in the global membership of the World Methodist Council, of which the WMCNZ is a part.
Our name says that we are historically Methodist, a strong stream within the broad expression of the Christian faith, but if you were to ask what sort of Methodist, we would say ‘Wesleyan Methodist.’
The WMCNZ has grown out of a revival movement which has always given itself one mission - the spreading of Scriptural holiness throughout the nation.
Aware of our heritage, we seek to be a contemporary church with a passion to evangelise and disciple New Zealand. Our mission is primarily congregationally led with men and women empowered to lead holy and fully devoted lives for Jesus Christ.
Our beliefs, practices and priorities are anchored in clear Biblical teaching. We seek the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit for this work.
If you would like to join us or find out more about us please contact our National Secretary Rev Peter Benzie (ph ++64 027 243 9363; email firstname.lastname@example.org; office ph ++64 09 271 6460).
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