Come, follow me.
From the start of his ministry, and throughout the four gospels, Jesus invites the people he meets to follow him. Turn from what you are doing, Jesus says, come and follow me.
As Christians we have committed to living a Jesus-shaped life. But how do we do that? More than a year ago a group of more than 20 individuals from diverse contexts across the Diocese of Washington gathered to share stories of growing as followers of Jesus to discern practices that we could offer others seeking to grow in faith. Running through our stories, we discovered five core practices along a path of discipleship:
Pray: We begin with prayer–talking, listening, and responding to God, the ground of our being and source of transformation. Finding a prayer practice that draws us close to God can take any number of forms, including worshipping with our faith community, listening to reflections on Scripture, or remaining in silence.
Learn: Learning is a commitment to discovering the story of God and God’s people through ongoing study of Scripture, tradition, science, ourselves and our neighbors so that we can discern how to join God in reconciling all people and creation.
Serve: By serving we take part in God’s mission by using our gifts in service to others and creation. Serving is a matter of relationships marked by vulnerability, courage, creativity and wholeness that honors the dignity of every member of the community.
Give: God has blessed us abundantly. It is out of those gifts we share generously with others, knowing that all we have been given is a gift from God meant for the fullness of creation.
Share: Finally, we grow in faith by sharing the good news of Christ, inviting others to come on the journey with God.
Over the past year, we have been on a journey to create resources to help our congregations and its members to grow in discipleship. Today we share three:
- A Path of Discipleship App (iPhone | Android — coming soon!)
- Path of Discipleship Faith Sharing Cards (Order a deck)
- Path of Discipleship Posters (Download the posters)
A Path of Discipleship App: An interactive app for iPhone and Android devices offering over 100 activities to pray, learn, serve, give, and share with discussion prompts. Share your practice on social media and watch your progress along a deepening faith path. The app includes a “find a church” feature that shows users Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Washington close to you with links to connect. Download the app from Apple | from Google (coming soon!)
Path of Discipleship faith sharing cards: A set of 54 cards with question prompts in both Spanish and English inviting players to share stories about prayer, learning, serving, giving, and sharing. Great as conversation starters at home, church, or any gathering of a faith community. Use them to begin your small group gathering or to prompt conversation at a community dinner. Three decks available–child, youth, and adult. $8.15 a deck. Order a deck.
Path of Discipleship posters: A set of 6 posters for congregations to display in their churches, highlighting each practice plus a poster that introduces the path of discipleship. Download the posters.
We invite you to go deeper in your faith life through these five essential Christian practices. These five practices, over time, hold the promise of transforming hearts, hands and heads, helping us live more like Jesus along an ever-deepening path of discipleship.
These resources are intended to get you started wherever you are, whether you are new to faith or a longtime follower of Jesus. No matter where you are, you can continue to grow your capacities, commitments, and understandings of God, yourself, and your neighbors.
Related articles, EDOW’s Path of Discipleship 8/19/21
The Rev. Jenifer Gamber
Director of the School for Christian Faith and Leadership and Tending Our Soil Thriving Congregations Initiative