The Clear Path to Discipleship: Steps 3 and 4
We spend a lot of time on the EquipCast talking about reaching the lost and that parishes must be outward focused in order to grow. But I hear from many of you, “What about the already converted? We can’t leave them behind either!” Steps 3 & 4 of the Clear Path to Discipleship focus on just that. How do we help disciples grow in their relationship with God, and how do we prepare them for mission?
The 4 Steps in The Clear Path to Discipleship:
Step 1: Relational Outreach – the efforts of a parish to meet people who don’t yet have a relationship with Christ and to build trust and arouse wonder at way that we live as Christians. That is, witnessing to the love of Jesus.
Step 2: Conversion Engine – the effort to proclaim the basic message of the gospel and to invite people to accept the message of Jesus, accept him and begin following him as a disciple in the midst of His church.
Step 3: Discipleship Formation – once someone has accepted Jesus, they become his disciple. They’ve turned from their former way of life and begin following him, and they really need to be established in the life of the community. And, they guidance to be established in the life of the sacraments and begin building good habits of a Christian life.
Step 4: Missionary Initiative – sending disciples out to evangelize, both through their words and through their witness. This step helps parishioners identify their charisms and discover their mission field, the people that they’re most uniquely suited serve. It’s about a full discovery of their baptismal promises.
The Clear Path to Discipleship is the process of how a parish accompanies people in their growth, and there are carefully selected programs that make up that process. However, every program is at the service of the process, and the process is ultimately at the service of the people.
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Jim Jansen – Director of Pastoral Services, Archdiocese of Omaha
Fr. Jeff Lorig – Pastor at St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas More
Andy Dejka – Coordinator of Parish Evangelization and Adult Disciple