HOPE (a discipleship system)
Many churches are looking for ways to implement a discipleship system. Paragraph 120 of The Book of Discipline outlines the mission statement of the United Methodist Church – to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world – but many do not know that two paragraphs later, The Discipline give us the outline as to HOW disciples are to be made.
We make disciples when we:
- Proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ;
- Lead persons to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and the spirit and profession of faith in Jesus Christ;
- Nurture persons in Christian living through worship, the sacraments, spiritual disciplines, and other means of grace, such as Wesley's Christian conferencing;
- Send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate, caring presence, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel; and
- Continue the mission of seeking, welcoming and gathering persons into the community of the body of Christ.
The core process of every local congregation is to offer H.O.P.E. to the community it serves. Using this paragraph, H.O.P.E. has been developed to help set up a discipleship system in local congregations using four easy-to-remember words: Hospitality, Offering Christ, Purpose and Engagement.
We as United Methodists are called to change the world by offering H.O.P.E. with the love of God experienced in and through Jesus Christ. May God bless you and your efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
For more information in implementing H.O.P.E. in your church, contact Rev Derrek Belase, director of Connectional Ministries, firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-530-2020.