I just finished reading my friend and missionary colleague Chris Payk's great little book, Grace First: Christian Mission and Prevenient Grace in John Wesley. It is the product of his master's thesis a few years ago, with a foreword by Howard Snyder. Chris and family are have been living in Taipei, Taiwan for some years and he is starting work on a Ph.D -- courses conducted and dissertation to be completed in Mandarin Chinese.
According to Wesley, prevenient grace is given by God to draw, enlighten, and convict persons. Church leaders would be wise to analyze the church's ministries in order to determine whether or not the divine-human relationship in each ministry is the primary concern, so as to identify where ministry energies are being mobilized, and to what extent the church's social, cultural and worldview models are culturally sensitive in light of the transcultural character of prevenient grace. This would help the church to be as effective as possible in communicating the realities of the gospel. (p91)
These Wesleyan insights have helped shape content for the study curriculum that my colleague Jared Siebert and I have developed over the past couple years, Bearing Faithful Witness. One of the sessions explores the Cornelius story in Acts 10, where God had been preparing him in various ways for the visit of Peter, who had likewise been prepared in advance to engage with this outsider to the Jewish tradition. Chris Payk urges us to "pay attention, to notice" where God has already been at work, because that helps us to shape our conversations as we build bridges between God's prevenient activity and the fuller revelation of the Jesus story.