A Path for Discipleship - What's Yours
I routinely hear people asking about how to help people move forward in their spiritual journey and how to become part of a faith community. I also hear people who observe congregations who do this work well say that all of us need to be clearer about the process and path that helps people move forward. And finally, most of the congregations that I consult with don’t have a clear path that they communicate well to new people. As a result: most people who come initially don’t stay connected. Their experience of church is a repeating but static pattern. And with no sense of movement, they drop away.
While the outline with definitions is too long for a blog, the basic elements are as follows:
- Visiting – The journey starts when a person first encounters us
- Connect with people – Finding supportive companions makes the journey easier
- Get involved – Finding ways to use your gifts and passions gives purpose and ownership
- Learn more – We offer a classes on the congregation’s ministry and on our tradition’s theology
- Make Your Commitment Known – When you feel called to belong, let us know and we’ll have a one to one conversation with you about membership
- Public Reception into Membership – New members are publicly welcomed during worship with a statement of faith and prayer.
- Keep Growing! – Joining is not the endpoint, but a midpoint on a longer spiritual journey.
Our ability to outline this and give clear definition to this process is a helpful next step in doing a better job of shepherding people from being curious to being committed to full participation in the life of Christ’s church.