November 25, 2009
What A Ride!
READ: 1 Thessalonians 1
The word of the Lord has sounded forth . . . in every place. —1 Thessalonians 1:8
Francis Asbury rode 6,000 miles a year on horseback for nearly half a century. Despite ill health, he drove himself tirelessly. He sustained himself with venison jerky—a food that wouldn’t spoil during his extended travels. Asbury is remembered for introducing the Methodist “circuit-riding preacher” as an effective way to capture the American frontier for Christ. Planting new churches in remote areas was central to his approach.
At the close of Asbury’s ministry, he had recruited over 700 traveling preachers. In 1771, when Asbury arrived in the colonies, there were only about 600 Methodists in America. Forty-five years later, there were 200,000!
In many ways, Asbury’s strategy for planting churches reflects the approach of the apostle Paul. To the church he had planted in Thessalonica, Paul wrote: “From you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place” (1 Thess. 1:8; see Acts 17:1-10).
The days of the “circuit-riding preacher” have come and gone. But each of us has a “frontier” where friends, relatives, and neighbors are our mission field. Can you think of someone today who needs to hear the good news? — Dennis Fisher
Lord, lay some soul upon my heart,
And love that soul through me;
And may I nobly do my part
To win that soul for Thee. —Tucker
Those who love Christ have a love for the lost.