Our church vision, growing a garden of disciples, involves the launching of several new ministries to plant, tend and harvest in God’s kingdom. These new ministries include a community garden, a food pantry, skating events, Financial Peace University, Scouting, and an adult book/Bible Study. I would like to describe in more detail one of the new ministries that explicitly embodies our disciple-making vision: the Discipleship Team.
The Discipleship Team is currently led by me and Steve Kilgore, our church Lay Leader. The team was started in June as a means to develop new disciple-makers in our congregation. It is the “child” of a similar “parent” teams that exist in our district and throughout the North Alabama Conference UMC. Our Discipleship Team is also a follow-up strategy for our Vision Team, which is concluding its process as we share the vision with the church and community.
Members of the Discipleship Team are young and less-young in age, and represent a diversity of opinions and experiences, but we are all committed to growing into the likeness of Jesus Christ. We spend roughly eight hours together each month to love, learn and lead through a shared meal, worship, accountability, prayer, and discussion of learning material. We are currently considering opportunities to practice incarnational presence and service in the community.
While we expect this team will result in new ministries and leaders in our church, the ultimate purpose of the Discipleship Team is to strengthen the church for our mission by equipping each individual to grow into the likeness of Jesus Christ, who himself made new disciples. As a result, each team member will be equipped to make disciples in whatever ministry God calls them to participate in.
The current Discipleship Team members are: Krystal & Corey Railey, Cindy Kilgore, Steve Kilgore, John Miller, John DiMartino, Dalton Arnett and me, Matt Headley. Next summer, some members will likely leave the team, and new members will be added. I encourage you to ask any of the team members to describe their experience for you and what difference it is making in their lives. Finally, please pray for this team as we strive to more faithfully witness to the love of Jesus in our church and community.