Wesley Week 2021

Methodist Church in Zimbabwe
Wesley Week
24 – 30 May 2021
Theme: “Our help comes from God” Psalm 121 v1-2

[After this page, why not also visit Methodist Emphases?]

Day 1
Trusting God in times of trouble
Mark 4 v35-41

Wesley Week Day 1 audio message for Hillside Methodist Church with Mr Arnold Mahonye.

Wesley Week Day 1 audio message for Connexion with Rev Obert Shatai.

In 1736, when John Wesley was on board a ship bound for Georgia Colony, he observed Moravians in the midst of life threatening storm. Whilst he and other English men were screaming in terror, the Moravian Missionaries were calmly singing. He asked one of them if they(Moravians) were not afraid. He told him that he thanked God that he was not afraid, even their women and children were not afraid to die. From there, John realized that the Moravians had something he did not have, absolute trust in God.
When people lack trust in God, they are always in fear. They become victims of terror. The Disciples were seasoned fishermen who had experience in the storms of the lake, but on this particular day, they panicked. The storm threatened to destroy them all and Jesus seem to be unaware or rather unconcerned. But, it was Jesus who had instructed them to cross over and they obeyed. One can call the events during this night, a lived parable. What do we learn from it?
1 Storms in life arise NOT ONLY as a consequence of sin, BUT ALSO as a result of obedience. Such storms, when overcome, bring glory to God. Romans 8:17, “if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together;” If we suffer in obedience, he will be with us in the midst of the storm.
Obedience does not exempt one from trials. Let us learn from the life stories of people like Joseph, David, Daniel, Paul, etc.
2 A sleeping Jesus is not dead. A sleeping Jesus implies a seemingly inactive Jesus. He should not be forgotten. Though in danger, a ship with Christ on board, cannot sink for he takes particular care of it. You ought to have Jesus in the ship in this voyage of life.
3 The disciples‟ question to Jesus shows that they expected help before they requested for it. Jesus sometimes does so, but play your part to show your confidence and trust in him. Though you are with him, cry for help when need arises. Upon hearing prayers from his children, Jesus wields a power which the storm cannot stand.
There are people who always seek to blame others when in trouble. They are not even afraid to blame God. Learn a polite language, just say, “Lord help me for I cannot help myself.” When in danger and in panicking mode, confess your fears to God and trust him to care for you.
4 Jesus calms storms of life. Jesus lived with the disciples and they witnessed his miracles but underestimated him in this particular storm. How long have you been a Christian but you still underestimate his power to handle your crisis?
You can choose to worry and assume that Jesus no longer cares, or you can resist fear and put your trust in Jesus.
Be with Jesus Christ in the vessel of life, he is the master of storms. Remember, when fear prevails, faith goes into hiding. Have faith in him and you will move from fear of tempest and get a greater fear, the fear of the Lord of the tempest. You will surely lose the bad fear and get the good one called reverence of God. Trust God.
For Reflection
Share experiences in which Jesus rescued you from danger. What did you learn from such experiences?

Day 2
Strangely warmed heart
Luke 24 v13-35

Wesley Week Day 2 audio message for Hillside Methodist Church with Mr Ivan Chigwada.

[Click or tap here to jump to the text version of the above audio.]

Luke 24:32 “They began telling each other how their hearts had felt strangely warm as he talked with them and explained the scriptures during the walk down the road.” TLB
John Wesley had struggled with a deep dissatisfaction within himself as a Christian. He had a restless quest for holiness. John and Charles thought that by doing missionary work, they would find what they were looking for. They went to Georgia. Unfortunately, the enterprise was not successful because they quarrelled with the settlers.
Two years later, after an unsuccessful mission in Georgia, John returned to England, battling with his faith. He was still looking for the secret to holiness. On the 24th May, 1738, his friends prevailed on him to attend a Moravian Society meeting at Aldersgate Street in London. There, Martin Luther’s Preface to Romans was read. Wesley described the experience he had as, “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation. And an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Just as frustrated as John was upon his return to England, Cleopas and his friend were desperately unhappy on their return to Emmaus. However, they made Jesus their theme for the walk. They did not recognize him because they were preoccupied by their frustrated plans and dashed hopes. They were counting on Jesus to rescue them in a militant way. They never realized that he had to rescue people’s souls. Even though they had heard of the empty tomb, they did not understand about the resurrection even when Jesus referred them to scriptures and applied it to his ministry; hence Jesus called them “foolish”.
From the stories of the men walking to Emmaus and Wesley, we learn a lot.
1 The Emmaus men engaged themselves in edifying conversation as they walked. When we engage in good talk, Christ will come in and leads us into the truth. Good company and good conversation are an excellent antidotes to despair.
2 They invited him to come into their home. – If you earnestly seek Christ, you will find him. Desire him and he will take his rightful position in your life. He is a guest who can play the host when invited. He always blesses those who long for him.
3 John Wesley thought he could become a perfect Christian by moral effort. But God‟s forgiveness depends on His grace and love which is received through faith and repentance. On the road to Emmaus, the men had given up, but Jesus offered himself to them and renewed their hope. Salvation is entirely a free gift to humanity.
4 An encounter with Christ leads to the warming of the heart. No words can warm hearts except his.
5 Warmed hearts lead to certain changes in our behavioural patterns It breeds the love of God, holy desires and a real devotion. It drives the willing feet. Even though it was already night, the men who lived in Emmaus undertook an 11km return journey to Jerusalem without being forced. As well, Wesley engaged in serious mission after the Aldersgate experience on horseback. It is approximated that he travelled over 250 000miles on horseback preaching the gospel. The warmed heart breeds a ready tongue. Ready to share the word, ready to testify.
Warmed hearts burn with shame of sin, melted into penitence and leaves one with inflamed zeal to serve.
For reflection
Share experiences of personal encounters with Christ among yourselves.
Do you still have the zeal for Christ?

Day 3
Church: People of God
1 Peter 2 v9-12
John 15 v16

Wesley Week Day 3 audio message for Connexion with Rev Simbiso Gondore.

The Moravians impacted on the life of John Wesley in many ways and as a result, he desired to visit their community in Central Europe. Andrew Murray, in his book entitled “Reaching Your World for Christ” wrote of Wesley’s visit to Herrnhut (a Moravian community). Upon his visit, John wrote, “God has given me at length the desire of my heart. I’m with the church whose conversation is in heaven, in whom is the mind that was in Christ, and who so walk as he walked. Here, I continually meet with what I sought for, living proofs of the power of faith, persons saved from inward as well as outward sin by the love of God. I was extremely comforted and strengthened by the conversation of these lovely people”.
John never mentioned a beautiful church building, but a people! The Church is not a building but a people. Baptized people who have received Christ as their Saviour and who publicly proclaim so by word and deed. The Church should be composed of people who are continually learning, studying, listening and seeking to be true disciples.
Peter reminded the disciples, who were widely dispersed, that;
1 Church is a chosen generation
The church has a divine commission. When the 120 disciples were gathered on the day of Pentecost, just as on the day of creation, God breathed in them so that they became a living body. The tongues of fire, that is, Shekinah (the glory of God) was witnessed. This was God’s presence among them. The Church is the chosen people through whom Christ is doing his work. In John 15:16, Jesus explicitly specifies that, members of the Church did not choose him; He chose them, therefore, they must fulfil their purpose, to bear fruit; And by this, God will be glorified, (John 15:8). Are visitors in our churches witnessing the glory of God?
2 Church is a Royal Priesthood
In Old Testament times, people could not approach God directly. A Priest would play an intermediary role between God and man. The priest was the go-between, the bridge builder and the meeting place. Hebrews 4:16 informs us that we can now come directly before God because Christ died for us. All who believe in him are now Priests. They have the obligation to bring message of God’s grace and love to the evil world. The whole church consists of Priests, therefore, Methodists believe in the Priesthood of all Believers.
3 Church is a Holy Nation
Leviticus 11:45 “…You must therefore be Holy because I am Holy”. The word “Holy‟ means to be different, separate, distinct. You are therefore not ordinary. The difference must be noticed as you study in school/college, in your work place, as you talk etc.
There should be a noticeable difference in a Christian husband/wife, Doctor, athlete, salesman etc.
4 Church is God’s own People
Church is God’s possession. She is required to recognize God’s authority and respect his will above their individual selves.
A church is a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation and God’s own people, to attract outsiders to become insiders. Let the waters of life flow from the church!
For reflection:
What does it mean to be “Church” today?

Day 4
On wealth
1 Timothy 6 v17-19
Matthew 19 v24-26
James 2 v1-4

Wesley Week Day 4 audio message for Hillside Methodist Church with Mrs Tokozile Makuyana.

As we continue to learn God’s word, our focus today is on riches, bearing in mind that; being rich is subjective and poverty is not an automatic ticket into heaven.
John Wesley, in his teaching and preaching, emphasized individual worth, cleanness of life, living in a sober way and not wasting money. These characteristics produce riches. Thus, he predicted a change in economic and social status in people called Methodists and he feared the consequences. He wrote; “Religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches…we ought not to prevent people from being diligent and frugal, we must exhort all Christians to get all they can, to save all they can and to give all they can.” (A Short History of Methodism by U. Lee and WW Sweet, pp73-74).
Wesley noted that Paul had observed potential problems in the church at Ephesus. Ephesus was a wealthy city, so were many of the church members. It was because there was a potential for problems, that Paul decided to exhort Timothy about the issues of wealth. The rich are responsible for how they use their wealth. The Minister is responsible for sharing certain principles with the rich people.
The rich people’s responsibilities include;
1 Being aware of the temptations of wealth and to improve on their opportunities to help others.
2 Trusting God and making him one’s hope. Money represents power, authority and success and so there is a likelihood of rich people finding it difficult to realize their powerlessness to save themselves. Matthew puts it clearly when Jesus says that, it is impossible for the rich to get to heaven EXCEPT with God who makes the impossible possible. God is the source of all riches and he is the one who enables us to enjoy them richly. Faith in God should not be altered because of our wealth of lack of it.
3 Take heed of pride, a sin which easily attacks rich people.
4 Use your wealth to do good joyfully. Always think of heaven and prepare for it in charity work.
5 Fighting the temptation to arrogance because of wealth.
6 Being honest in acquiring and using one’s estate. Gain all you can in a Christian manner. Always bear in mind that possessing much wealth carries greater responsibility. The rich have a great temptation to resist paying their real tithe, on the use of their time and on setting their hearts to love God.
The responsibility of Ministers and leaders for the rich
1 Every Minister is a trustee, rich people are a treasure committed to his trust by God and must be cared for well.
2 The rich need pastoral care. Ministers must not fear the rich but speak to them, counsel and encourage them.
3 As Paul instructed Timothy, to stir them up to works of charity and holiness.
4 They must not facilitate for the sinning of the rich by showing favouritism. God sees all people as equal. Love all regardless of their circumstances. Selective treatment of the rich sometimes denies them of the Christian fellowship with others they long for. It even breeds arrogance and pride.
For reflection
What do we learn from wealthy people in the bible such as Job, Abraham, Solomon, Zacchaeus and Dorcas?

Day 5
Women’s ministry
Judges 4 v4-24
Galatians 3 v28

Wesley Week Day 5 audio message for Hillside Methodist Church with Mrs Angela Penduka.

[Click or tap here to jump to the text version of the above audio.]

Wesley Week Day 5 audio message for Connexion, with Rev Siphatisiwe Fuyani.

When Israel was in need of deliverance from the hand of Jabin, God raised up Deborah, a prophetess and wife to Lapidoth, to judge over Israel. Judged not as a Princess (no civil authority was conferred on her) but as a prophetess, with gifts of wisdom from the word of God. She corrected abuses and redressed grievances related to worship among Israelites. Many people came to her with their disputes and found peace and salvation. The greatest achievement she had was to conquer Jabin and his army. Among many women in the bible, Deborah stands out in great prominence. She is known for;
Making fair decisions and resolving legal disputes among God’s people.
Operating under heavenly inspiration so that she would not tell people what she thought but what God said. She knew her purpose very well, being God’s mouthpiece and a judge of Israel.
With a strong natural character in the midst of depressing circumstances, she rose with vigour and boldness. She never allowed the visible disadvantages, like being a woman, to crush out the invisible authority given to her by God.
She had the ability to lead through delegation, planning and directing. Her voice was followed by even the leaders and the army.
She went with the army to war, she would not send them where she would not go.
It is important to note how Barak, a man worked under the supervision of Deborah. He is a distinct man in that;
He recognized Deborah as God’s chosen leader.
He received his commission and instruction from Deborah with gratitude, when he was nominated to command the army.
He was selfless for God’s work. He never minded what people would say seeing a woman marching by his side, consulting her and confessing that she was his inspirer.
He stood for God’s cause and God’s honour, not his own. The issue of whose hand God was using was not an issue to him, his interest was to see God’s hand on that person.
He showed faith and obedience to God
Barak could do nothing without Deborah’s head, and Deborah could do nothing without Barak’s hands. From the relationship revealed in the salvation of Israel through these two characters, we learn two doctrinal viewpoints.
1 Complementarianism, that is, male and female, are ordained by God. They are created to complete or complement each other. No one is superior.
2 Egalitarianism, that is; politically, both male and female are equally capable of holding offices. Ecclesiastically, female and male are equal in authority.
These two doctrines were realized by John Wesley when Susana Wesley, known as the mother of Methodism, started preaching to her children every Sunday at family worship in her kitchen, which later turned into Sunday evening services attended by as many as 200 people. He therefore allowed women to be local and, itinerant preachers. For instance, he authorized Sarah Crosby, a tireless itinerant preacher to preach.
A person once asked ; “Mr. Wesley, how is it that you encourage certain females in preaching?” he answered, “Because God owns them in the conversion of sinners and who am I that I should stand against God?” (christianhistoryinstitute.org>article).
For Reflection
What role are you playing as a woman or a man, in ensuring that complementarianism and egalitarianism is practiced in your area of influence, be it at home, church, work or political arenas?

Day 6
Music that cannot be resisted
Matthew 26 v30
Acts 16 v25-26
Colossians 3 v16

Wesley Week Day 6 audio message for Hillside Methodist Church with Mrs Gloria Nyamambi.

In the 18th century, the Church of England sung Psalms to tunes, being led by a Parish Clerk who was not always an inspiring song leader. From the beginning, the success of the Methodist mission was a result of preaching and singing. Methodists sang Charles Wesley’s hymns and songs. Methodists sang their theology. The way in which they sung was reviving and there was Christian singing which England had never heard. Methodists’ singing would catch the attention of all passers-by in such a way that they could not resist.
In order for Methodism to continue in its mission successfully, the music ministry should take its rightful place. Musicians should sing in a way that no soul can resist its effect. To achieve this;
1) The Aim of Music should;
– be theologically sound. It should help one to reflect upon his/her own sin and celebrate God’s love.
– aim to lead into worship. Worship involves the whole person, including thoughts and emotions. Music should therefore enable one to focus on God through his thoughts and emotions. It should assist people to express their emotions to God, be it sorrow, grief, love or joy depending on the context.
2) Irresistible Music should be sung all seasons
Despite the situation that Paul and Silas found themselves in; their backs still smarting from the beating, with uncertain futures and in emotional distress, they sang and prayed. Instead of grieving about their state, they chose to praise God. No matter one’s circumstances, singing to the Lord should never cease. Like Paul and Silas, one need not wait until the morning to start singing, one need not wait until you have a good voice, sing unto the Lord!!
3) Righteousness is required
Though in prison, Paul and Silas had done nothing wrong. They had committed no crime, they were therefore at peace. They were at peace with God and with men, hence they could sing. Their music could not even be resisted by the stocks designed for holding the most dangerous prisoners.
Music from a pure heart shakes even the demonic chains. Its effects lead to conversion of evildoers; just like the jailer, they will ask, “What must I do to be saved?”
For Reflection
Music turns the darkest dungeon into a house of worship by shifting one’s focus from the prevailing situation to God;
How can you make music turn your local church (be it a church building, classroom or open space) or your home, into a worshipping space?
Pray for revival and growth of our music ministry.

Day 7: Wesley Day
The world is my parish
2 Timothy 4 v1-5
Matthew 28 v19a

Audio message for Wesley Day 2021 for Connexion, with Rev Dr Simon Madhiba.

Audio Opening Prayer for Hillside Circuit on Wesley Day 2021 in English, with Rev Margaret James.
Audio Bible Readings for Hillside Circuit on Wesley Day 2021 in English, with Rev Margaret James.
Audio message for Hillside Circuit on Wesley Day 2021 in English, with Rev Margaret James.

Audio message for Hillside Circuit on Wesley Day 2021, with Rev Bekithemba Phiri.

The Aldersgate experience taught Wesley that Christianity is a joyful experience as well as a duty. From his experience of an encounter with God, he was convinced that he now had a message to deliver to the unchurched. The message being; the forgiveness of sins to those who would trust in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. As he preached this gospel, the Church of England closed its doors to him in London and in other cities, except in jails and almshouses. Thank God for George Whitefield who invited him to Bristol where, learning from Whitefield, John started preaching in fields. That marked the beginning of the Methodist revival; a denomination which is not limited by the walls of a church building, which moved from the pews to the byways and highways reaching those not reached by the church. John Wesley fulfilled his saying, “the world is my parish”. We are his arm, we are therefore obliged to continue preaching to this parish called the world.
Preaching the word is a Christian mandate from Jesus himself. It is God’s command, his charge.
Here is what we learn from Paul’s letter to Timothy about preaching.
Who should preach?
Preaching is the proclamation of good news of God’s grace and the salvation of humanity. This means that preaching is not reserved for accredited “preachers “ only. Everyone has the responsibility to preach the word as long as they are saved.
All who have received the word must transmit it, clergy and laity. For this reason, we have services where organisations preach.
Why should we preach?
Preaching is Jesus‟ command and he is coming soon to judge. Every Christian has to give an account on his/her response to his command.
Heresies are flourishing which corrupts minds of people including Christians. The time has come when people do not want the word of God but religious entertainment from those who tickle their ears. They are ignoring people who teach the WORD, becoming deaf to the word, therefore preach now!
What to Preach.
Generally, people desire teachers and preachers who make them feel good rather than those who reveal the truth. They can therefore search for preachers for their eloquence rather than for their spirituality. Preaching should be searching, plain and to the purpose.
Pure, plain and uncorrupted word which has life changing power must be preached. Remember, you are a king’s messenger called to relay his message faithfully. Tell people what God has to say.
Preach the revealed word, John 1:1. Christ himself must be the subject and content of every sermon.
When to preach
In season and out of season. Be always ready and preach when it is convenient to do so and when it is inconvenient. Have a life consuming passion to preach.
The Word is the bread of life, it should not go out of season. This means there is no time which is unseasonal.
How to preach
Preaching is not reserved for the pulpit as we learn from Wesley. Everywhere, people must hear the word.
By reproving – present your case in a manner as to convince the sinner through Spirit-filled biblical teaching. Bring wicked people to repentance with the authority of Christ.
By rebuking- Make an appeal to the conscience of the hearers.
By exhorting- Make an appeal to the will and emotions of hearers. Strongly encourage those who began well, persuade them to hold on and endure to the end.
By preaching sound doctrine and instilling Christian principles.
Fulfil your ministry with diligence and care
As Methodists, we learnt in our new believers lessons that, Methodism was born to preach scriptural holiness. Fulfil that mandate. It is not easy, expect afflictions but endure them. Don’t be discouraged.

Text version of Day 2 message, with Mr Ivan Chigwada:

Of the four evangelists, only Luke has preserved for us the story of the walk to Emmaus. With his typically human touch, his unfailing concern about the human condition, he has chosen as so often before to record an episode about ordinary people and their needs, and about how those needs are met by the message of salvation in Jesus.
A 7 mile walk which ended in Emmaus ‘toward evening’ (24:13, 29) must have occupied the last two hours of that first Easter Sunday afternoon. More perhaps if Cleopas’ companion was his wife, and thus their step may have been slower still in view of their state of mind as they left Jerusalem.
The conversation of the two whom Luke chose to call disciples was heavy with sorrow, disappointment and bewilderment. As Luke tells how a stranger overtook them, and asked why they were so sad, Luke shows us the greatness of their need, and pinpoints the cause of it. For the stranger’s enquiry elicited from them nothing less than the full rehearsal of the facts about Jesus. There is the ministry of Jesus in word and deed, the crucifixion which completed it and the hope of redemption which filled it with meaning. There is the conquered grave, and there is the apostolic witness to that. There is everything, everything except a personal word from the living Christ which would, in turn make the facts live also.
Yet for the greater part of their journey Jesus had actually been walking with them! Somehow ‘their eyes were kept from recognizing him.’ An experience of the living God was what they wanted, but though God came to them, and paced alongside them, yet still their hearts were cold.
The first step to salvation is to see that life does have a meaning and is not, to quote Shakespeare ‘A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!’
The second step is to see that that meaning is to be found only in Jesus Christ. Just as his words alone could make sense of what to the women at the grave seemed a meaningless jigsaw of events, so his words alone could reveal to the couple on the Emmaus road his own living self as the key to the jigsaw. See by their own confession, what it was that warmed them into new life: ‘Did not our hearts burn inside us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures!’
Again it is the word which brings life. The ‘word’ here means two things, yet the two things are one. First it is Jesus who speaks. This is something even better than the word of his earthly ministry. It is the word of his risen power, ‘for he has been designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.’ And in the power of the Spirit he is living yet. That is why still today we can turn to his words, written and preached, and our own dead hearts come to life, still today we can tell others with delight what Jesus says and they come to life in their turn. John Wesley was told and he came to life! The same can happen to you!
Secondly the Scripture speaks also-the Old Testament which Jesus was expounding, in which, on his authority, we find everywhere things concerning himself and to which we add the apostolic witness of the New Testament. To the Scriptures also we turn eagerly, for it is a living testimony to the living Christ.
John Wesley found his Emmaus road in London, on May 24 1738. ‘In the evening’ he tells us in his journal, ‘I went very unwillingly to q society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation, and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.’ It was William Holland’s reading of Luther’s commentary on Pauls epistle, but even at those three removes Wesley heard the voice of the living Christ and found in it salvation.
The voice of the living Christ can still be heard by you today and as you hear it you will find salvation. Brothers and sisters we see that it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder! Those who will believe in God will progressively realize the mystery which will take them on their Emmaus Road as they experience God and are saved and given the life!!! In the name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit Amen!!

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Text version of Day 5 message, with Mrs Angela Penduka:

I greet you all in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit Amen
“You are all God’s Sons through faith in Christ.” Gal 3 vs26 There is neither Jew or Greek slave nor free male or female .For you are all one in Christ Galatians 3 vs;28
In ministry there shouldn’t be any regard to gender social or economic demarcation. We all receive ministry gifts from God for His greater ministry, Romans 12; 6-8, 1Corinthians 12; 7-11. Despite the patriarchy society that prevailed in the bible we still have some women in ministry mentioned by name as the system could not supress their excellence in their different Ministries. These include Ruth the virtuous ancestor of Jesus, Miriam sister of Moses and prophetess during Exodus. Lydia she is described as a worshiper of God and a businesswoman with a family. She opened her house to Paul and his companions, offering hospitality to the missionaries.
Today in our Wesley week booklet day 5 we zero in to the great woman judge and prophetess Deborah .Judges 4 vs.4-24. We note that despite the negative social and political environment she lived in she excelled in her Ministry. She displayed gifts of wisdom from the word of God. We are told many who came to her with their disputes found peace. She and Barak led an army to conquer Jabin and his army. We note she did not stay home and wait for reports. She actively participated. She achieved her ministry with and through other people –men.
• Their efforts were complementary not competitive thus attaining positive results
• There was no political impartiality ( egalitarianism )
What does this mean to us today as children of God as people called Methodists?
Where do we stand in terms of affording and supporting people in different ministries regardless of gender? If we look back at the beginning of Methodism have we taken any significant steps towards gender equality in Ministry?
Around 1701 religious societies emerged under such great leaders as Anthony Herneck Josiah Woodward and John Wesley. Out of these societies emerged a new religious society that was different from the rest the Methodists. The difference being John Wesley welcomed women into his societies. He was probably inspired by his mother Susanna Wesley. The history of women in ministry cannot be complete without mentioning Susanna Wesley. It is through the foundation she lay in her kitchen teaching her children and later on having so many people worship in her house.
John Wesley the founder of Methodism weakened the power of patriarchy and tried to mitigate its effects as he encouraged the members of the societies to think of one another as sisters and brothers in Christ. He encouraged and allowed Women preachers to preach. My question still stands where are we as MCIZ., as Bulawayo District and as Hillside Circuit so many years later.
Having attained autonomy in 1977 It took 17years for the MCIZ to have a female District Chairperson (Now District Bishop. Margaret Mawire became the first female District chairperson in 1994. The second woman to hold a high office was our very own Rev Margaret James who was appointed presiding bishop for 8 months inDec 2004 to August 2005. In his research “ Rising against all odds Rev Dr M Mujinga wrote “ In spite of the fact that she established the church ,which was on the verge of a schism on both ecclesial and legal grounds when the time came for the substantive post to be filled she was not elected ,a man was elected.” The third to hold high office was Chishamiso Nyabonda who was appointed district bishop in 2017.If we look at our leadership in both laity and clergy does it reflect that women have equal opportunities in ministry according their abilities considering the ratio of women to men in our church. There may be some positive aspects but there is definitely room for improvement.
We commend the WA and Manyano for the role they are playing in church ministry. The women are undoubtedly the majority in the MCIZ their strength should be the strength of the church should they be afforded the opportunity and recognition. It is my prayer that they do not deviate from their mission and their policies and not pursue levies at the expense of spirituality.

In conclusion
Do we as women avail ourselves for ministry? Do men support women in ministry or they fill challenged?
On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled both men and women alike. Men and women are thus equally equipped and endowed with gifts of the spirit .There are numerous opportunities that women can take to be effective in the church at home and in society .We continue to give Glory to God for the Women who have taken it upon themselves to take active roles in Ministry despite an environment that is not conducive .We thank God for organisations that stand in the gap like the inter denominational Woman’s Ministry programme at the Theological College of Zimbabwe. Be blessed as we together as men and women of God win souls for Christ in word and deeds Amen

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