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Discipleship in Relationship with the Local Church

The local church is the body of Christ in our world. The “body of Christ” is too often used as a mere figure of speech, yet that phrase expresses the reality that Christ lives through his people. God’s people, as disciples, extend the life of Jesus to the world through the local church. Use this guide with your small group to better understand the role of the local church.

Discipleship: Growing in Grace

Most local congregations in Missouri have made great progress in internalizing the church’s mission of creating disciples for the transformation of the world, yet according to a recent survey conducted by the Core Practices team most churches continue to struggle to live out that mission in practical and meaningful ways. This 2014 story's insights into discipleship in Missouri.

Discipleship: Where to Begin

The first question on the mind of a disciple must be, “Where am I going?” Churches that develop a discipleship process ask the same question but with a “body of Christ” perspective: “In whose image are we making disciples?” What is the destination of a disciple? And where do I begin?

Empowering Parents for Intentional Faith Development of Their Children

A new culture of ministry is evolving that requires a different approach in the discipleship of youth and children. Many churches have placed a bigger emphasis on Family Ministry because they realize that unless parents are learning along with the children, effectiveness of teaching Biblical truths is reduced dramatically. Use these tips and resources in your local church or home.

Faith Formation Learning Exchange

LifelongFaith Associates, in partnership with Vibrant Faith Inc., developed The Faith Formation Learning Exchange, which is "dedicated to helping leaders in Christian ministry develop lifelong faith formation for all ages and generations that is informed by solid research, effective practices, cutting-edge thinking, and real-world models and tools." The site is organized by different intended audiences (ex. children, young adults, families) with articles, reports, research, and books recommended for faith formation.

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase

Robert Schnase, Bishop of the Missouri Annual Conference from 2004 to 2016, highlights key areas of both congregational and personal spiritual life in the Five Practices series: Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission Service, and Extravagant Generosity.

Knowing Where to Begin: An Assessment Tool

Knowing Where to Begin is an assessment tool courtesy of First UMC (Jefferson City). This tool is meant to be one of those guides that can offer you a path for “next steps,” a call to discipleship from Jesus Christ.

Morning Star Discipleship Pathway

This graphic shows Morning Star's broad overview of the discipleship process.

STEP Spiritual Gifts Survey

A spiritual gifts survey with questions and definitions of each gift, courtesy of Good Shepherd UMC.

The Gathering CoreGroups Overview

This document explains vision and goals for discipleship and identifies the current programming that meets The Gathering's discipleship pathway goals.

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