This influence was due not only to his publications, but also to the "school" or classes for the training of clergymen which he conducted for many years at his home and from which went forth scores of preachers to every part of New England and the middle colonies (states).
As followers rapidly increased they were compelled to hold their own Sunday services, and this naturally led them to appoint as preachers godly laymen possessing the gift of exhortation.
The extent to which the employment of the local preacher is characteristic of Methodism may be seen from the fact that in the United Kingdom while there are only about 5000 Methodist ministers, there are more than 18,000 congregations; some 13,000 congregations, chiefly in the villages, are dependent on local preachers.
At the death of Wesley the figures were: 313 preachers, 119 circuits and mission stations, and members.
In the United States: 97 circuits, 198 preachers and 43,265 members.