Mar 23, 2017

Campus

Episode 144: Circuit Riders And The College Campus

A Historical Perspective


Today, Timothy Beougher joins us to talk about the Circuit Riders and how church planting and ministry is different from the past.

Timothy Beougher // Associate Dean Billy Graham School of Missions & Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth // tbeougher@sbts.edu

Notable Points:

  • Coming to the new world helped develop the circuit rider model of preaching.
  • Most of the circuit riders were single, young men who died before the age of 30.
  • What did it look like when a circuit rider arrived in a settlement?
    • They would announce that they would have service the next day upon arrival.
    • They could stay for one day or for multiple days.
    • Sometimes they would live outdoors or people from the area would help provide for them.
    • Circuit riders would go to at least 10 settlements on a route and as many as 20.
    • Their goal was to help start churches in the settlements.
  • Methodist circuit riders were big on the great commission.
  • Circuit riders were not required to complete seminary, they were essentially lay-people.
    • The methodists help lay the foundation for the large presbyterian movement.
    • The methodists did have a statement of faith that they could stick with and study.
  • Wesley emphasized small groups and small group leaders in the circuit rider model.
  • Now vs. Then
    • Now there is no excuse for a church planter to not be theologically informed.
      • Due to all the access to theological books and teaching.
    • “It is raining so hard the only things going out today are crows and methodist preachers”
      • Preachers back then would let nothing stop them from preaching.
    • Wesely and the leaders were strong leaders who exemplified tenacity and the Word.
  • Challenge: “You have nothing to do but save souls”
    • Give the Gospel 110% and be intentional.

Recommended Books

God Sized Vision

Evangelism: a Concise History

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about the author

Timothy Beougher


Associate Dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry; Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth (1996) Prior to coming to Southern Seminary, Beougher served for six years at Wheaton College as assistant professor of evangelism and associate director of the Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center. He has written and edited numerous works related to evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual awakening, including Overcoming Walls to Witnessing; Training Leaders to Make Disciples; Evangelism for a Changing World; Accounts of a Campus Revival: Wheaton College 1995; and Richard Baxter and Conversion.