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The Methodist Class Meeting was much like the Giant Sequoia Trees in California. Just like the Methodist Class Meeting, the Great Sequoias “hold each other up.” They may reach a height of 311 feet, an age of 3200 years. They often weigh 2.7 million pounds. Their bark on the average is 31 inches thick. Their braches are about eight feet in diameter and their base 400 feet wide.

If tree roots do not grow deep into the earth, strong winds will soon “blow them over.” Such is not the case with the Great Sequoias. Their roots barely reach below the surface, but the winds do not bring them “tumbling down.” You see, sequoias grow only in groves. Their roots intertwine with each other under the surface of the earth. So when the strong winds come, they “hold each other up.”

So it was with the early Methodist Class Meeting. Small groups of perhaps only a dozen people would come together each week to “hold each other up.” One basic question brought them together, and that was: “How is it with your soul?” Then for the course of 60 to 90 minutes each member would share their personal temptations, doubts, and trials they had faced the past week.

I am convinced the Wesleyan style Class Meeting is the key for successfully making disciples for Jesus Christ today. It is being revived across America and around the world in groups known as “John Wesley’s Accountable Discipleship Groups.” Our own Academy for Christian Training and Service that meets tonight at 6:30 p. m. is such a group. Two Scripture verses empower us to “hold each other up.”

James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” The second one is Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” I call these verses the “battle cry of spiritual sequoias.”

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