Following Jesus:

Becoming a Life-Long Disciple

A Communal (multi-disciplinary and intergenerational) Approach to Discipleship

PRACTICING OUR THEOLOGY

Following Jesus is a lifelong journey where we learn and do what Jesus said and did. It takes more than the head, checking off boxes of belief. It even takes more than the heart, feeling deeply about another person or a cause. Following Jesus is about these things and more. It is also about doing. And it takes practice. And practice. And more practice. We are not practicing for perfection, however, but practicing putting faith and love into action. As we explore faith practices, we are diving into the essence of what makes us Christian, those who follow the one who practiced what he preached! As Paul communicated to Timothy, God’s gift of faith is like a flame, and when the embers of the fire have cooled you must fan them again and keep them ablaze. Thus, Christian Formation is our continuing journey of being transformed by the Holy Spirit towards the likeness of Christ, experiencing and expressing love for God and others.

A Philosophical Shift: From Christian Education to Christian Formation

Historically, the church (across denominations) in the 18thcentury created Sunday Schools to teach children to read as a part of its call to social justice and righteousness. Churches have thus provided a learning environment that formed the modern public educational system, and the two systems have influenced the other since the 1950’s. As a result, the church Sunday School focus has leaned more towards head knowledge rather than a heart change, one that would be evident in a visible and continual life change.

As the Church and a local community of disciples, we need to provide a new perspective and create a new environment in which the Spirit can work to transform lives. This is not another Sunday School program. This is a transformation reframing of congregational life, as well as practicing our faith in our homes and workplaces.

This requires a philosophical shift in our way of planning for ministry in three areas

– shifting from…

     A primary focus on program to a focus on transformation.

 A primarily segmented to a more integrated and holistic environment.

Emphasis on the head (or the cognitive dimensionof learning) to an integration of head, heart, and hands.

In addition to these shifts, there are four formational elements which can help us to be receptive to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to grow in our relationship with God.

The Four Building Blocks of Faith

All disciples of Jesus Christ,

  • find their place in God's family;

  • know God's story;

  • live in hope; and

  • discover their calling.

The Aspirations of Discipleship

  • “I belong to Jesus and to his body, the Church.”

  • “I know and understand the story of God’s faithfulness, of which I am a part.”

  • “I have hope, through Christ, in all of God’s promises. God is making all things new, and God is using us to accomplish that.”

  • “I am called to work in God’s kin-dom, and I am equipped to do that work.”

Relationships – All have a place in God’s Family

Healthy and effective spiritual growth takes place in the context of relationships…both within peer groups and across generations, in family homes as well as outside of the home. We encourage people to be in discipling, mentoring, or small group relationships that produce growth – giving witness to the Good News both inside and outside the church.

God’s Story – Shaping our actions and our lives

Christians are known as the people of the Book because we value Scripture as a means to know God, know our selves, as well as guide us in living meaningful lives in community. By sharing God’s story we find our identity and path.

Living in Hope – Using our gifts in witness and service

We believe that discipleship to Jesus implies practicing his teachings on loving God with all of our heart, mind, and strength; and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Such a love (agape), together with the Spirit’s work in us, equips us to do kin-dom work…responding to injustice and serving others in Jesus’ name.

Worship – Interacting with and experiencing God

Knowing that God desires an intimate relationship with us, we are committed to a style of life filled with worship. From the moment we awake till we go to sleep, our lives are characterized by both individual and corporate expressions of devotion and practicing our faith. Our daily worship practices empower us for living a radical life of love in Christ, expressing a living hope, sharing God’s story, and helping people find belonging in God’s family.

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 3pm-7pm

Appointments are always encouraged and can be scheduled outside of the regular office hours

Please contact Steph Gallagher in the church office to schedule an appointment

Office Phone: 262-547-5100

200 Richard Street
Waukesha, WI 53189

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