A Path for Discipleship
Submitted by Tom Mitchell, Lay Leader (Ministry Team Focus)
So, what is a path to discipleship, and why does UUMC need one?
A Path to Discipleship sets out a series of next steps new guests or seekers coming into contact with UUMC can take to follow Jesus, learn what that means for them, learn how this might happen at UUMC, and begin integration into our Christian community. This may result in baptism or membership.
The Path is an organized, caring way for us encourage and mentor those seeking a deeper relationship with God.
The Ministry Team considered these matters at a special meeting on November 12, 2015 to begin work on this. The process follows from the book Simple Church.
Our working draft of a how people become disciples at our church is:
People Become Disciples at our Church:
- Serve, Pray*, Worship
- Witness, Give
- Study Scripture and Learn#
*Includes individual practices and/or small group participation
# Overarching in support of first 5 elements
Our rough draft of a path is:
Step 1: Guest has ice cream with Rev. Diane or Rev. Bill. Bill has other entry points, too.
Step 2: Guest goes to Be You-Be Loved-Belong class (formerly our “New Member” class) and gets a sponsor (often a friend the person has already made). Sponsor attends 3 classes with guest and also spends time with them outside of church (dinner, etc.)
Step 3: This step hasn’t happened yet. It could look like coaching/mentoring for the connecting guests. A member/coach will sit down and talk one on one with them, figure out where they are and what they are interested in, what they need; helps them choose ways to get involved. The coach/mentor and guest would work off an organized list of ways to participate.
Step 4: The connecting guest would be asked to participate in three ways:
- Pray (which could be individual practice in various forms or in a small group)
- Serve (within the church, to community through church program, or to community directly)
Step 5: The connecting would be followed up by communicating the choices to appropriate team leader or program person, and personal contact or invitation from them to the connecting guest.
Eventually, we hope a similar process will help us nurture on-going spiritual growth of active members.
I will convene a follow-up group to do further research, refine the path, lay out details for implementation, and implement. Five from among those attending volunteered, and we are looking for a few more.
Please contact me if you would like to help with this.
Blessings, Tom Mitchell