Dan and Taylor both pointed to the United Methodist Church’s outline for effective disciple-making. As summarized at the UMC web site, it includes the following pieces:
- Reach out to people and welcome them into the church
- Relate people to God and help them deepen their relationship with God
- Nurture people in Christian living
- Support people in their ministry
As a part-time local pastor – a bi-vocational one who lives about 45 minutes from his congregation – I’ve been struggling to figure out how to develop these pieces in the life of the congregation I serve. My primary venue for this is Sunday – which is a huge limitation. Regular weekday time with them is just not something I’ve been able to work out in my two years with them.
Given these limitations, I’ve been trying to figure out what incremental steps I can take to help the congregation move that direction. Clearly, with their pastoral leadership distant and limited in contact, it is going to have to be a laity led process. But how to develop and unleash the laity leadership and skill set under these conditions? That is the question I am still striving to answer.
I’d love to hear any insights or experiences of others in these kinds of tasks. It can’t involve hiring staff or spending lots of money. What has worked? What has failed? What can I learn from your hard-won experiences?