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Starting New Things – Mission Pathways

Starting New Things – Mission Pathways: From here to discipleship

Coming to faith and engaging in Christian discipleship is a journey. Sometimes that journey is short and sometimes it’s a longer process. In either case our role, as church communities, is to help people along it. Developing missional pathways for people to travel along with you, so they can find Jesus and walk with him as well is a useful approach. We find that people often move from one kind of relationship to another and therefore the missional pathway has steps along it that help those relationships to develop.

As we have seen, in previous posts, the role of disciples, and therefore the collection of disciples that is the church, is threefold; bear God’s image, bring God’s justice to the world, and multiply for fruitfulness in these two things. Mission Pathways help us to put our intentionality about these things into practice.

The first step is that those unconnected to church become friends. We have events and activities that help people discover us and our faith without having to share it; coffee mornings, walking groups, parent and toddlers, food banks etc. These activities are good in their own right because they build and serve communities but we also want to be intentional about sharing our faith. This intentionality is key.

The second step is that friends become believers. We have events and activities that help people learn about Jesus and the Christian faith and consider it for themselves; Alpha, Start, Pilgrim, seeker services, café church, nurture groups, confirmation preparation, catechism etc. These activities are respectful and considerate and honest about their purpose, people are invited to them to hear for themselves.

The third step is that believers become disciples. We have events and activities that help people go deeper with Jesus and put their faith into action in all sorts of ways; Home groups, Bible studies, Prayer groups, helping with the other activities in step one and two to help people move along. These activities help each believer to fulfil their baptismal calling as disciples, as Lights for Christ, here.

For encouragement: It is very likely that every church has some elements of different mission pathways already in existence with people working hard to make them welcoming and effective.

To think about: Are the elements of mission pathways that we already have intentionally linked?

For more posts in this series click here

If you want to talk about Starting Something New, or mission pathways, or church growth in general, do get in touch