Home > Don's Blog > John Wesley’s Discipleship Accountability Questions

John Wesley’s Discipleship Accountability Questions

The questions have their origin in the spiritual accountability group started by Wesley when he was a student at Oxford — a group that detractors called “The Holy Club.” The first list appeared about 1729 or 1730 in the preface to Wesley’s second Oxford Diary. Similar questions appeared in his 1733 A Collection of Forms of Prayer for Every Day in the Week. As late as 1781, Wesley published a list of questions like this in the Arminian Magazine.

The heart of Methodism during the life of John Wesley was the Methodist Class Meeting. This was a small covenant discipleship support group where members were accountable to each other. They confessed their faults one to another, prayed for each other, and stirred up one another to love and good works. Here the teachings of the Bible were examined in light of actual personal experience. Here leaders were nurtured and equipped.

Some of the questions proposed to every one before he is admitted among us may be to this effect:

  • Have you the forgiveness of your sins?
  • Have you peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ?
  • Have you the witness of God’s Spirit with your spirit, that you are a child of God?
  • Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart?
  • Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you?
  • Do you desire to be told your faults?
  • Do you desire to be told of all your faults, and that plain and home?
  • Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in his heart concerning you?
  • Consider! Do you desire we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning you?
  • Do you desire that, in doing this, we should come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom?
  • Is it your desire and design to be on this, and all other occasions, entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?

The following materials are taken from the writings of John Wesley and his Preachers.

  •  Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
  • Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
  • Can I be trusted?
  • Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
  • Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
  • Did the Bible live in me today?
  • Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
  • Am I enjoying prayer?
  • When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
  • Do I pray about the money I spend?
  • Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
  • Do I disobey God in anything?
  • Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
  • Am I defeated in any part of my life?
  • Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
  •  How do I spend my spare time?
  • Am I proud?
  • Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
  • Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
  • Do I grumble or complain constantly?
  • Is Christ real to me?

“Encourage one another daily . . . so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” — Hebrews 3:13

Leave a Reply