ALCOA, Tenn. (Jan. 17, 2019) -- Over the Christmas holidays there was a conversation about discipleship process on the Holston Conference Clergy Facebook page. The conversation began with the question: Who would be willing to share their discipleship process?
So, what is a discipleship process? How do you create a process, especially in small membership churches? Basically, a discipleship process is an intentional process that:
> Equips individuals in your congregation with the resources and direction to take the next steps on their spiritual journey
> Forms more fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ who are growing in their love of God and others.
At its core, a discipleship process equips a person to grow in their spiritual practices and to take the next step in their spiritual journey. For example, what ministries do you offer members of your congregation to take the next step in their prayer life? If a member of your congregation says, “I read scripture as part of my daily devotion, but I want to dig deeper into what I’m reading,” what small group or resource would you direct the member to? Who in your congregation is available to meet with individuals interested in exploring how to move from being a consistent giver in the church to giving a percentage of their income? In fact, there are three spiritual practices – reading scripture, service, and financial generosity -- that are a catalyst for an individual to not just take a step but to take a stride in their walk with Jesus Christ.
Want to learn practical, simple ways to prepare, implement, and sustain an intentional discipleship process in your congregation? Join the Discipleship Process Webinar on Thursday, Jan. 31, 7-8 p.m. I will be sharing insights from a recent training I attended with Ken Willard, author of Stride: Creating a Discipleship Pathway for your Church along with staff from Jones Memorial UMC and St. Luke’s UMC in Chattanooga as well as a consultation offered by Ooltewah UMC with Phil Maynard, author of Shift: Helping Congregations Back Into the Game of Effective Ministry and Discipler: An Interactive Guide to Intentional, Relational, Accountable Discipleship.
RSVP for the webinar at holston.org/discipleshipwebinar. Registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 28. Participants who complete the webinar will be awarded .1 CEUs.
I look forward to our conversation.
The Rev. Susan Groseclose is associate director of connectional ministries for discipleship, available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-690-4080.