The intentional discipleship movement is already happening across the connection. More and more churches and leaders are recognizing that we must have a relentless focus on making and growing disciples, and move away from fixing churches. Here are just a few examples.
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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.
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.
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,
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.