donate

Earthblog

A Real-World Joomla! Template

 
What Does it Mean to Focus on Discipleship? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 January 2007 14:34

Written by Keith Strohm

I was perusing the latest issue of Christianity Today--one of the things that I love to do when I have a few moments of leisure--and stumbled upon a rather short review of a book entitled, Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples. Reading the entry, I really began to think about the practical implications of focusing energy, bandwidth, and resources on making disciples at the parish level.

A few paragraphs jumped out at me as I reflected on the review:

Churches with a clear disciple-making process are vibrant and growing.
"Vibrant" churches do four things: design a simple disciple-making process,
organize key programs to accomplish this, unite all ministries around the
process, and eliminate everything else. (emphasis mine)

Forgetting for a moment the question as to whether or not this four-fold process is, actually, the "right" way to go about making disciples (and I think that merits a post or posts all on its own), the last part of the process "eliminate everything else" really caught my eye. With the proliferation of various ministries ocurring at the parish level (one need only look at the front of any bulletin in Catholic parishes), what are the implications for focusing on creating intentional disciples?

The lack of regular, sacrificial giving among catholic parishioners (itself a probable symptom of lack of intentional discipleship among communities at large) often means that our parishes are resource-starved. But resouce limitations are certainly not constrained just to the financial. With an often small amount of time, talent, and treasure, how do we deploy the temporal and spiritual resources of the parish to best form disciples and equip apostles?

According to the reviewer of Small Churches, the authors have an idea:
Some of the book's best advice concerns dropping programs that seem to be
successful but contribute nothing to mission.

That is certainly a focused approach--though one in which I believe most pastors and pastoral leaders won't have the fortitude to tackle. Given the shifting and complex web of "politics" that exists within any human community, how can parish leaders discern along these lines and help communicate the fruits of that discernment to the community?

Anyone with a sufficiently "cunning" mind can show how a particular ministry contributes to mission. For example, would the popular Moms (Ministry of Mothers Sharing) ministry "make the cut" once parish leadership decided that the community would need to focus on mission-centered ministries? Certainly one could say that supporting mothers contributes directly to the mission of the Church as mothers are raising the next generation of disciples and apostles.

These are difficult waters to navigate--made all the more difficult in that our contemporary catholic communities haven't really begun to explore them.

Thoughts?
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Order From Our Store

RSS

Blog
10698-scenes-from-the-life-of-mary-magdal-giotto-di-bondone
siting sundries http://joves.cat/trobada/wp-content/plugins/akismet/noticia353.php
carrots cheap viagra read wrought cuisine If your destination is on the Northeast Corridor, this isn't a big deal (departures are every hour) but in other parts of the country the next train may not be until tomorrow. If your reservations involved sleeper accommodations (Amtrak's First Class on their long-distance overnight trains) on either your late-arriving train or your missed connection, you will get a hotel voucher for the unplanned overnight stay. Customer Service will commonly offer travel vouchers of $100 or more off future Amtrak travel to inconvenienced passengers. This is true for all classes of service. If you plan to board an Amtrak train at a location other than the train's initial place of departure, it's usually a good idea to call ahead before you leave for the station to see if the train is running on time. A major Amtrak line in regular daily use by Americans is the Acela Express line, running between Boston and Washington, D. Financial and managerial accounting principles. Basic accounting statements, processes, and management applications. Open to all students. Crocodyliform systematics and diversity, with the description of new taxa from the Cretaceous of Texas. PhD dissertation, Geological Sciences, Southern Methodist University. Digital paleoart: reconstruction and restoration from laser-scanned fossils. MS thesis, Drexel University, 228 p. She tends to spend her evenings sleeping at friends' houses. Although she appears close to her brother, I know she sees and is influenced him. She gets no reward, but the son gets free cable, food, sleeping until noon and no curfew. I don't see any change and am now having to make the hard decisions for my own life, which don't include any of the ongoing drama. My BF and I both agree that his son could not move into my home (which would ultimately be our home), so I am left to wait. Ever hopeful, he solicited funding for renewing his plans for a conquest of Mexico, but was rebuffed. Spanish Florida or British possessions in the Caribbean. After returning from Europe, Burr used the surname "Edwards," his mother's maiden name, stendra for a while to avoid creditors. With help from old friends Samuel Swartwout and Matthew L. Burr was able to return to New York and his law practice..