At Bethany UMC, we are continuing to shift our emphasis from Membership to Discipleship. We believe as you grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you might commit more to the following:
- A Life of Worship
- A Life of Hospitality
- A Life of Opening to Jesus
- A Life of Obeying Jesus
- A Life of Service
- A Life of Generosity
How does one go about this?
If you are new to understanding discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus (hint: this may or may not mean you are new to the church!), please consider taking one of these two courses. These lay a foundation for what it means to be a Christian and a United Methodist as you consider your continued journey in being a disciple of Jesus.
- The Alpha Course is an opportunity to explore the validity and relevance of the Christian faith for our lives today. It is a practical introduction to the basics of Christianity with loads of opportunity for debate and discussion. The style of Alpha is informal, friendly and non-pressured, and it’s a great way to meet new people.
- First Steps to Connect is a four week class covers the history and doctrine of Methodism and John Wesley, the history of Bethany UMC and the structure of the United Methodist Church. You’ll also have a chance to find places to serve by discovering your spiritual gifts and passions.
We can’t know how to head toward the destination until we know where we are starting. It is important to take a personal inventory so that you gain a better understanding of your own faith journey. We offer multiple ways to do this:
- Take the Real Discipleship Survey. This is a quick online inventory that allows you to determine your starting point. The results are only shared with you and give you specific tools to help you grow in the faith areas that seem to have room for growing and maturing.
- Learn more about your Gifts and Passions. This is a workshop to help you discover the many blessings God has granted you and the ways you have been equipped to operate with joy as you serve others.
- Explore the many Ministry Opportunities Bethany has that will help enable your growth, depending on where you might be at this stage of your faith journey. In particular, explore being a part of a fellowship group, a serving group, and a worshiping group. You can also find out more information about the Top Serving Opportunities at Bethany.
Once you have identified the starting point, this is where the journey truly gets underway. There are a variety of ways to really dig deep into your own discipleship path, but these three elements are significant in helping you along the way.
- Join a group of fellow journeyers in an intentional Grow Group. This is an intentional group of people who meet together to ask questions, pray for one another, and learn together.
- Commit to practicing Spiritual Disciplines, and perhaps learn one or two new ones each month/quarter/year.
- Enter into a relationship with a trained Discipleship Coach. This is a form of accountability from another Bethany member who meets with you regularly (as determined together by you and your coach). Coaches aren’t necessarily better at the skill we are trying to improve (e.g. - praying more regularly), but they are gifted at helping us identify the steps necessary to get better ourselves and will prayerfully meet with us as we try to grow.
Let us take seriously Jesus’ invitation to grow in intimacy with God.
As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us.