The Gospel reading from Mark 6:1-13 offers us a clue to what happens when the Gospel become counter-cultural. The Gospel points us to what happens when the Word of God is spoken unreservedly and undiluted to our culture, our ideological secularism. The rejection of Jesus in his hometown reveals the picture and the trait of the people of Nazareth in each of us and our communities. The Gospel will always be opposed especially in a world that is gone wrong, ‘a world turned upside down; therefore, when someone comes speaking the truth to us, we will think that they are crazy and dangerous.’ Jesus, on an itinerant mission came to his hometown, Nazareth with his disciples to teach with deeds of power done by his hands. However, Jesus’ wisdom and mighty works meant little to those who would not believe.

In a post-Truth world and culture, faith or disbelief is our response towards God and His Word. There is no neutrality, hence ministry is only effective when people have receptive hearts to God and His Word. We need a pure theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry especially in our Nazareth world, a world that is more and characterised by unbelief with a culture that is at best, disinterested in Jesus. There is theology/biblical precedent for itinerant ministry. Itinerancy calls us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Peter 3:18). Theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry as the meeting point point of our beliefs and task reveals what we consider to be most important, our priorities, goals, and purpose.

In Mark chapter 6, Jesus describes to us what I call the pure theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry where preachers live solely on the kindness of strangers, and on faith that Jesus knows what he is talking about. In Mark chapter 6, the preaching extension of Jesus’ twelve disciples and exorcism in chapter 3 parallels Jesus’ own mission. Jesus took the initiative by calling the twelve and began to send them out two by two, perhaps for safeguarding, collaborative mission and to guide against personality cult. The theology and philosophy of Jesus’ idea of itinerant ministry is experiential, a living radical faith with works meant to cure and overcome the medieval Christendom systematic and abstract approaches to theology, philosophy of Christian ministry. The itinerant ministry as a call to missional task and restoration of pure theology and philosophy sought to redefine the authority of Scripture in relation to salvation of souls as the basis of genuine Christianity. From the Wesleyan connexional perspective, itinerancy is not just about the moving of clergy or organisational habit, but a call to his sons and daughters in the gospel to spend all their effort in ‘the work of saving souls.’ The Wesley’s theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry is rooted in his ‘vision of spreading scriptural holiness across the land and utilising both clergy and laity in the fulfilment of this mission.

The itinerant ministry and authority of the disciples are derived from Jesus’ power over unclean spirit (v.7). The disciples’ itinerant ministry beyond being a passive beneficiaries of Jesus or Wesley, was a call and a mandate to witness and to heal, replicating’ Jesus’ own ministry (Mark 6:5). Itinerant ministry beyond the self-authorisation of Jesus’ adherents is about divine orders received from Jesus, our commander, and we can execute them because he has given us ‘exousia – authoritative power – to do so.’ The theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry is about evangelism and ministry that are not mechanical. The function of pure theology and philosophy meant to draw people to God, in the Middle Ages became a systematic and philosophical discourse among the elites. Hence, the joy of theology’s invitation to seek and encounter God; the quest for eternal certainty began to compete with the quest for human philosophical agendas and pride. Theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry ‘insure that the Church is not a social club where we can join the cult of a pastoral personality. Instead, we go to our church to a part of the wider community.’

Theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry invites us to know and preach the truth and being in the truth so that the mystery of God can take up residence in those who encountered it. Theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry may be unintelligible to the modern secularised construal of truth just as the synagogue leaders took offence at the teachings and wisdom of Jesus. Wesley’s statement years ago points us to the pure theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry today: ‘Oh let no one deceive us by vain words (Theology), as if we had already attained this faith: By its fruits we shall know. Do we already feel peace with God and joy in the Holy Ghost? Does His Spirit bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God? Alas! with mine He does not. Nor, I fear, with yours. O Thou Saviour of men, save us from trusting in anything but Thee! Draw us after! Let us be emptied by ourselves, and then fill us with all peace and joy in believing; and let nothing separate us from Thy love, in time or in eternity.’ St Augustine moment of pure theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry was not theoretically driven, but Spirit inspired with living consciousness of God’s presence and power.

The theology and philosophy of the itinerant ministry of the twelve contains many principles that are valid for “apostolic” styles of ministry of the Wesley’s sons and daughters in the gospel today. We are called to go to the lost sheep, preaching a clear and declarative gospel message with clear signs of God’s presence and wonders. The theology and philosophy of the itinerant ministry based on moral standing are free from financial concern bearing in mind that freely you have received freely give. The theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry faced with rejection of the gospel proclaimed with power, points to hard hearts of the people, hence the rejection of the messenger is the rejection of God and His Words and brings doom. There is hope for someone or nations who are currently rejecting Jesus. This type of hope is about radical theology and radical philosophy, it is not in our pride, or in our comfortable life. Theology and philosophy of itinerant ministry calls us to follow Jesus Christ, not just a human dictator, ‘we do not have dictators, we have pastors who will come and go, and shepherd us along the way.’ Itinerant order, living where sent calls us to a surrender of our circumstances of ministry to God and to step ‘away from the careerism that plagues us.’