Peace United Methodist Church, Pickerington, Ohio
by Rev. Bill Lyle
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.
Programs such as Grief Share, Divorce Care, Upwards Soccer, Preschool, and serving our community by volunteering at our City Festival, painting storage sheds for our local schools, etc. allow us to connect and love people in real and tangible ways.
As we build relationships with people, we invite them to join us in worship, small groups, classes, and ministry teams. It is our expectation that everyone who calls Peace Church home will participate in these core activities of the church. It is through these involvements that people experience God’s justifying grace which impacts people most directly through their mind, belief and behaviors.
As people continue to grow, some of them will desire to go further in their faith development. Deeper discipleship is offered through adding covenant groups, one-on-one accountability partners, and various types of leadership training to their ongoing activities. It is through these more specific and intense spiritual conversationally based relationships that the church helps people experience God’s sanctifying grace with the intent of crucifying the misdeeds of the flesh and perfecting them in love. The focus at Peace Church is to address a person’s will, motive, and attitudes.
After years of intentional self-sacrifice, a few individuals will begin to experience God’s entire sanctification. This experience of God’s entire sanctification is lived out in the Communitos (the entire body of Christ) and most directly impacts a person’s spirit. These people are being perfected in love and good works and understand at the deepest levels what it means to be fully submitted followers of Christ who love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love others as much as they love themselves.
There are also six spiritual practices/disciplines we expect everyone to participate in throughout their entire journey regardless of where they are in the process. The first three help us to learn to love God more (personal devotion, corporate worship and sacrificial giving) and the second three help us to learn to love others more (serve/witness, vital relationships, and personal development). These spiritual practices are lived out with deeper conviction the further people move in their spiritual journey, but all six practices are expected at every stage of a person’s spiritual development. These spiritual practices, along with intentional discipleship programs designed to address different aspects of faith development, are what allow people to grow in their faith.
For more information about our process please contact Peace Church 614-837-3732 or [email protected] as we would be glad to explain our process in greater detail.