A suggested discipleship pathway
What shape should a discipleship pathway take? The simple four-part outline below represents the practices of various British Methodist churches in providing for people’s spiritual growth.
For people to experience growth they need to be:
- Invited into an experience of God’s love in Jesus Christ and into the fellowship of the Church,
- Connected with Christian faith and with others in the church as members of the body of Christ,
- Formed in their character and their understanding and practice of their faith,
- Sent to live out their faith in the diverse situations of their lives.
If we are aiming for our people to grow in their discipleship and spirituality we will be intentional in planning, in some way or another, for each of these four elements.
These four elements of a pathway for growth can be organised into a logical sequence: Invite - Connect - Form - Send.
In practice, things may not always happen in this logical sequence, but the virtue of this pattern is that it focuses our minds on the vital aspect of progression in the Christian life. It helps guard against a potential default position of simply providing a buffet of options – courses, programmes and resources – to pick and choose from without an intentional focus on how people will grow towards Christian maturity. This four-part framework is not prescriptive. It provides a ‘container’ which can accommodate the programmes and initiatives planned by districts, circuits or local churches.
The buttons below will take you to pages with more information about each part of this basic pathway and some options for resourcing each of them.
Districts, circuits or local churches may also adopt or develop comprehensive programmes that target all four elements of the four-part pathway. Examples of this are given in other pages in this section of the website.