Seedbed has just posted a press release to their website about the book I will be publishing with them on the class meeting. You can read the entire release here. The working title of the book is: The Class Meeting: Reclaiming a Forgotten (and Essential) Small Group Experience. The purpose of the book is to help people form class meetings. In order to accomplish this purpose, the book provides an introduction to the class meeting and its central role for the early Methodist movement, as well as a practical guide to reclaiming this distinct kind of small group. The book is designed to be an eight week small group resource that helps a group to actually become a class meeting. The hope is that after the book is over, the group will continue meeting as a class meeting. To further facilitate this, the book includes questions for discussion and a transformation question that progressively guides the group to the heart of the class meeting: Discussing the state of each person’s relationship with God.
In the speaking I have done on the class meeting in various contexts, people have consistently asked me to recommend a resource that would help them guide a group toward becoming a class meeting. These requests, and the lack of a resource that is focused on a return to the class meeting, led me to write this book. My hope is that The Class Meeting will help people to actually start life-changing class meetings, not just learn about the small groups that were at the heart of early Methodism.
I am very excited about this book! I believe the class meeting continues to have enormous potential for Christian discipleship in this time and place. And from many of the conversations that have occurred here, I know that many of you do too. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to raise up a network of class meetings.
I will provide further updates on the release of the book here. As the press release states, Seedbed anticipates that the book will be in print this fall.
Kevin M. Watson is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies at Seattle Pacific University. You can keep up with this blog on twitter @kevinwatson or on facebook at Vital Piety.