In March 1739, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, engaged in field preaching for the first time after being encouraged by his friend and fellow preacher George Whitefield. Stepping away from a pulpit, Wesley went out from the church and preached in the open air to those who didn't have the time or money to sit in a pew and hear the good news of divine love and grace. Thousands of ordinary people, many struggling in poverty and put off by fancy church people, came to hear Wesley preach that first week. Some ecclesial authorities were appalled. Yet a fresh spiritual awakening began in Bristol, England, entirely outside the church walls, which has circled the world many times – even until today.
A new generation of spiritual pioneers are becoming twenty-first-century field preachers, moving out from established churches into neighborhoods, pubs, and digital venues around the globe where they listen deeply to the stories of God’s people and proclaim the good news in the contexts where they find themselves. As in Luke 11, these spiritual pioneers, their friends, and their neighbors are discovering that “the kingdom of God has come near.” This podcast is a series of interviews and stories from modern-day field preachers who will make you laugh, cry, and think about how and where we are called to share good news – and to discover what happens when we show up to the Spirit’s work in ordinary places.
About the hosts: Paul Nixon is Director of Church Multiplication for Discipleship Ministries. He and his colleague, Beth Estock, have worked with hundreds of pioneers across North America and beyond, those who care deeply about the people who don’t go inside church buildings. We invite you to join Paul and Beth as they explore the new things God is doing in ordinary places.