I just listened again to our conversation earlier this year with Bob Beckwith, and knew I needed to write about this one because it epitomizes my deepest hope for the Art of Holiness podcast series. Talking with Bob was like talking to an old-style, Spirit-filled Methodist. His spirit and witness are full of what I pray for as Methodism’s next chapter takes shape.
Bob’s ministry has been characterized by a holy hunger for the fullness of a supernatural God, but he isn’t the kind to go chasing after titillating experiences. In his leadership of the largest Wesley Foundation in the country, he has been ruthless about combining the prophetic (which he calls simply “hearing the voice of God”) with a systematic discipleship plan that pours into over a thousand students every week. He calls it a “giant Amway.” DIrectors disciple interns; interns disciple leaders; leaders disciple older students; older students disciple younger students. And all of them are being discipled one-o-one or in small groups weekly, while hundreds also gather for prayer on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
As I said, inspiring.
What Bob is modeling through the UGA Wesley Foundation is what I long to see happen in the next Methodism. I am longing for a culture that is not only comfortable with the prophetic but hungry for it. A culture deeply rooted in prayer, not just lip-service prayer but lingering, trusting, anchoring prayer. A culture with a deep and unapologetic commitment to discipleship — the kind that develops an expectancy of growth. I’m hungry for a day when the kinds of hallway conversations Methodists engage in sound as naturally supernatural as what you’ll hear in this podcast. This ought not be the exception. This ought to be the rule.
Bob Beckwith is a man of faith whose influence will be felt for generations. I hope you’ll listen and get a flavor for what can be. This generation is proving what is possible. Our part is to believe with them and build the house. You can listen to Bob’s conversation here.