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The goal of this project was to introduce a missional approach to discipleship in the United Methodist Church. This involved introducing a three-fold rhythm of Scripture, service, and celebration. This process was utilized during one-day service opportunities, Ignite Days, and a fifty-day online experience, “The Ultimate Adventure.” Because contextualization became an important component to a missional approach to discipleship, the one-day service experiences focused on people connected to Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church–Downtown (hereafter, HPCUMC–Downtown) while the online experience was open to anyone with Internet access.
Participants were invited to view their daily life as a context for mission, provided a daily scripture reading, written reflection from the Gospel of Matthew, a suggestion for serving, and an opportunity to debrief at the end of the day through a celebration question. Sermons on seven Sundays were focused on the weekly theme from “The Ultimate Adventure.” The content from “The Ultimate Adventure” guided Ignite Days that included twenty-eight participants. “The Ultimate Adventure” yielded 312 responses from 46 participants. All participants were United Methodists. Some participants responded one time, others responded multiple times.
The goal of introducing a missional approach to discipleship was achieved in that individuals from multiple contexts and life circumstances engaged in the three-fold rhythm of Scripture, service, and celebration through Ignite Days and “The Ultimate Adventure.” In order to take this process further, assisting people in identifying ways they can serve in any stream of culture is necessary. This work has continued in a new context and was utilized in teaching twenty-five students in a Course of Study class as well as the development of an online course. Refinement to online learning will enhance the ability to guide participants in contextually appropriate ways to take a missional approach to discipleship.
Content Reader: Randy L. Rowland, DMin
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Thomas, Sara B., "A Missional Approach to Discipleship in the United Methodist Church" (2015). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 179.