NASHVILLE, Tenn. March 1, 2018 /Discipleship Ministries/ – United Methodist congregations are being challenged by Discipleship Ministries to develop new intentional systems of discipleship to creatively engage and form relationships with people outside their churches.
The #SeeAllThePeople Challenge will award $2,500 grants to two congregations who demonstrate how they are reaching out to their broader community as part of a new intentional system of discipleship.
“We want to hear how your church is planning to engage your community,” said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries. “Tell us how your church is planning to be engaged in the community in an outwardly focused way, connecting with people who are currently outside of the church.”
The challenge is part of the #SeeAllThePeople movement (www.seeallthepeople.org), which Discipleship Ministries began nine months ago to encourage United Methodists to think less about “fixing” churches and more about involving people in the community as part of an intentional discipleship system.
“Making disciples is not simply about filling pews or raising budgets,” Dotson said. “Making disciples happens when congregations have a system – a method or an intentional process – to shepherd people they are in relationship with outside their churches into a fuller understanding of the Christian faith so those people can proclaim, on their own, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Before that can happen, congregations need to see all the people that God calls them to reach. “And to do that, we need to understand that discipleship begins with relationship,” Dotson said.
To join the challenge, anyone in a congregation – pastors or laypersons – can submit an entry. Applications for the grant will only be accepted from U.S.-based congregations who currently have no discipleship system. All entries must be submitted by midnight April 9.
Choose one or both of these methods to submit an entry:
Write your plan – Describe how your congregation will engage the community as part of a whole discipleship system. (Click here to learn more about discipleship plans.)
Produce a video – Creatively demonstrate and explain how your church plans to engage your community as part of its discipleship system. You do not need to produce a professional video. However, you must upload it to YouTube and copy a link in your entry. If you decide to only produce a video and not write a plan, your plan must be briefly explained in the video.
The two congregations receiving the $2,500 grants will be announced April 16 on the Discipleship Ministries Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UMCdiscipleship).
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.
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