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Developing a Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations is a practical guide for congregations who find themselves stuck researching community demographics, pouring over worship attendance metrics, and fixing their aging structures, yet lack a system for creating relationships with those who surround their church. We can’t program our way back to vitality. Rather, it requires a movement toward discipleship-making, and it begins with a process that reaches into your community. Begin a conversation in your congregation around creating a lifestyle of intentional discipleship.
Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People. If your church is tired of sending postcards and producing PowerPoint presentations, this book will help you connect with those outside your door. The Rev. Junius B. Dotson is a dynamic preacher, public speaker, church planter, and a recognized visionary leader in church revitalization.
Forming Disciples Through Worship: We offer this resource to help you and your worship team become more intentional in the many ways that worship forms and shapes disciples in your church. Becoming more intentional about how sermons, music, and liturgy, work together to form disciples, is the goal of this resource.
Discipleship System Example
To illustrate the basic elements of an intentional discipleship system, we offer this chart (adapted from the work of Phil Maynard) in Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations. In the far left column we have listed the basic characteristics of a disciple (Worship, Community, Spiritual Practices, Generous, Services, Christ-like).
Intentional Discipleship at Central United Methodist Church
Central United Methodist Church in Waterford, MI, sent a team to participate in the Detroit Conference Vital Church Initiative. From that event, the team was tasked with creating a discipleship pathway for the church.
Intentional Discipleship District by District
The Oklahoma Conference is refocusing efforts on intentional discipleship systems and pathways in all local churches. District Superintendents (chief missional strategists) are assisting churches in creating opportunities for lay people to become deeply committed followers of Christ.
Intentional Discipleship System: Tonganoxie United Methodist Church
The Climb Discipleship Pathway provides basic check points and opportunities that aid you in charting your own spiritual growth.
Intentional Discipleship System: Peace United Methodist Church
Peace Church’s discipleship pathway is about transforming people into fully submitted followers of Christ who love God and love others. We meet people in our community at their point of emotional, heartfelt need by sharing God’s prevenient grace through support groups, serving and witnessing and mission and outreach opportunities.
Intentional Discipleship: International
The UMC DOC (United Methodist Church, Disciples of Christ) is a primer created as an evangelistic/discipleship model to help pastors, deaconesses, and lay members in the Manila Episcopal Area with its 12 Annual Conferences consisting of 28 Districts.
Intentional Discipleship: Conference Suggested System
At the beginning of every journey, we must take the first step. Sometimes we know where we should go and that first step is easy to define. But when we do not know or are unsure, we can easily get distracted, discouraged or displaced. If we are fortunate, a guide comes alongside to help show us the way.
Intentional Discipleship: Conference Initiatives
In the Upper New York Conference, intentional discipleship systems have been identified as one of the components for Vital Congregations. To that end, multiple approaches are being used to come alongside congregations to help develop discipleship systems. A concerted effort has been underway to communicate the value of an intentional discipleship system, and the importance of a system for the mission and ministry of the local congregation. This has been done in presentations from Episcopal leadership, District Superintendents, and multiple staff members. Additionally, publications have included stories and information about intentional discipleship systems.
Intentional Discipleship in Small Groups
The people of Broomfield United Methodist Church, located between Denver and Boulder in Colorado, actively participate in a wide variety of small groups. Through a congregational discernment process in 2004-2005 utilizing focus groups, the members and leaders of BUMC confirmed the importance of small groups as a crucial part of an intentional discipleship system. The congregation’s mission – Worship God, Grow with God, Share God with Others – is manifested in the following essential priorities: Holy Scripture, regular worship, fellowship of small groups, outreach to the world, and the shared ministry of laity and pastors. Core discipleship groups include four Sunday morning groups, six men’s groups, four women’s Bible studies, several ongoing evening study groups, three neighborhood groups, and six United Methodist Women’s Circles. These groups provide a wide variety of opportunities for learning, spiritual growth, and mutual support and accountability. Most of these groups engage in Bible studies, topical studies, or book studies.
Intentional Discipleship in Sermon Series / Church-Wide Resource
How do we help churches think about discipleship instead of membership? When and where do we talk about moving from members to disciples? Several South Carolina clergy discussed these questions at the Intentional Growth Center at Lake Junaluska. That discussion, based on Phil Maynard’s book, Shift, led to a dream of involving other United Methodist clergy. This group, after much conversation, began by defining discipleship as “our response to Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come, Follow Me.’” From this beginning, we began to develop a sermon series and church-wide resource with that title.
Intentional Discipleship System: The Journey
Every person has a unique faith journey. You may have started yours as a child, or you may have started later in life. Some of us might still be searching. What matters is that you have started the journey. Think of this journey as your path of discipleship; Christ United is here to help you navigate your path.
Intentional Discipleship System: Providence Church
Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment for our guests to seek God and find the hope, healing and wholeness that only comes through Jesus Christ. Whether it’s the first time, the first time in a long time, or you regularly attend, we want our church to be accessible and welcoming to all.
Intentional Discipleship System: Knox United Methodist Church
Knox United Methodist Church’s Loading Ministry is the church’s outreach ministry to the street dwellers (homeless) of Manila, using the following strategies.
Intentional Discipleship System: INSPIRE Chemnitz
INSPIRE is a Fresh Expressions ministry of the Germany Conference and has been up and running on the Brühl in Chemnitz for over two years. It has been an amazing adventure, with loads of experimenting, and new doors of opportunities to serve continually being opened to us.
Discipleship Begins with Relationship
This three-session video teaching series, featuring Rev. Junius B. Dotson and Rev. Jacob Armstrong as your instructors, aims to communicate the basic principles behind See All The People, a movement to help us understand what discipleship and evangelism mean in the 21st century.
This video teaching series includes three sessions, as well as discussion for each session. We will talk about whose job it is to make disciples, how to stop fixing churches, and how discipleship begins with relationship. If you have a voice inside of you that wants to help create a new DNA in your congregation, welcome, and let’s get started.Enroll Now
Chuck Knows Church: The Committee
This teaching series is designed to examine the struggles congregations face as they look toward a preferred future.
Chuck Knows Church: The Committee is a 16-session video teaching series designed to examine the struggles congregations face as they look toward a preferred future. Using real-world topics, The Committee is sure to open discussion in your congregation.Enroll Now