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A Framework for Discipleship

October 10, 2018
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This week’s post is written by our very own Evan Jones, Associate Minister for Discipleship. He and his team have been working to redefine how we think about discipleship, and have created this framework to illustrate the connections between all the facets of Discipleship. There’s still lots of great work to come, but here’s a word from Evan about why we should look to be more intentional about discipleship.

As followers of Christ, we claim a faith that is growing and deepening. This formation and transformation is wrapped up in in a process that has historically been called “Discipleship.” Discipleship is what being a Disciple looks like when put into action. At FirstChurch, we are more clearly defining what that means for us and focusing on specific ways that we might continue to deepen our Discipleship journey.

At the core of Discipleship are three central components: WORSHIP, LEARNING AND SERVICE. These three broad categories become more focused when we explore how we foster each of these through “community” and “piety”, or personal devotion. John Wesley believed that piety was crucial to faith development and something that every Christian should invest time in doing.

Our visual representation of these concepts includes six touchpoints in the chart which help identify the areas of discipleship where growth is desired.

Here are the six touchpoints in more detail:

  • Worshipping together. Corporate worship is at the heart of what it means to be a church. Each week we gather to worship God through song, prayer and the prophetic word. Maintaining a regular and intentional connection to God through corporate worship is an important component in everyone’s discipleship journey.
  • Learning together. Communal study provides opportunities to hear different viewpoints to which we might not be exposed otherwise. Learning at FirstChurch primarily happens through Sunday school, short-term and long-term classes available in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Serving together. Service allows us to see God’s work and presence, and at the same time to address needs in our community. Serving alongside each other deepens our relationships with each other and with our neighbors.
  • Living with compassion. Exploring how faith can deepen empathy, forgiveness and Grace can allow us to see our own transformation and how that affects the world around us.
  • Studying as an individual. Making time for personal study, devotion and prayer are important parts of our spiritual journey. Taking time to listen intentionally to God’s call on our life can foster a deeper connection with the divine.
  • Worshiping with intention. Allowing worship to inspire your faith Journey is where this touchpoint becomes critical. No longer experiencing worship as a consumer, but instead as a participant, can allow a more intentional approach to a corporate act.

A deepening discipleship allows God to be made known in new and vibrant ways. Take some time and assess these six touch points in your own life and explore ways to grow the areas that need to be expanded.

Additional classes that explore this topic further will be available in Spring 2019. For questions about discipleship, contact Evan at ejones@fumcdallas.org.

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