Wesley’s ministry of social reform began with Charles Wesley’s Holy Club at Oxford University in 1729. The Holy Club personally ministered in Oxford’s two prisons, at the workhouse, with poor familes, and in a school for underprivileged children. Methodism was actively engaged in abolishing slavery. Wesley developed a three-fold plan for ministering with the poor:
1. Meet their needs yourself.
2. Solicit resources for the poor.
3. Become an advocate for the poor.
That sounds like a workable plan to me for the Church in 2007.
Wesley’s motivating inspiration was the call of Jesus for Christians to always love their neighbors as they love themselves. Those who truly love as Jesus loves minister to the needs of His hurting children. Methodists continually collected and gave funds, food, clothing, and fuel to the poor, and Wesley advocated it was better to personally deliver these gifts than simply send them. [SOURCE: “Origins: Social Holiness” by Craven E. Williams, President Greensboro College as posted on web site: http://www.gborocollege.edu/prescorner/holiness.html.]