Discipleship Ministries starts a grass-roots effort for making a million new disciples by 2020.What if United Methodist congregations stopped looking for quick fixes to revitalize their churches and started seeing the people right outside our doors that Christ called us to reach?
What if churches recommitted themselves to focus on being in relationship with those around them and created an intentional system to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?
Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church is asking those questions of the denomination. The agency believes the denomination has looked too long for a quick fix to help guide discipleship efforts, and the church is now called to fully embrace the spirit of the Wesleyan tradition by being in relationship with the communities that surround our churches.
Discipleship Ministries is launching a grass roots initiative called #SeeAllThePeople, designed to inspire a disciple-making movement across our denomination. The agency is in the midst of shifting priorities to create resources, events and a discipleship system that emphasizes congregations being in relationship with those outside its walls.
The initiative “will help our church work to reach the goal of making one million new disciples of Jesus Christ by the year 2020.” ~Bishop Mark J. Webb
“We cannot disciple people that we are not in relationship with. Discipleship begins with relationship,” said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries. “When churches create an intentional discipleship system, they move from tinkering and fixing to relationship and discipleship. We do this not to just fill our pews, but to boldly show Christ’s love to those around us.”
To launch the initiative, Discipleship Ministries has produced a discussion starter video and a free study booklet for congregations written by Dotson: Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations.
Dotson urged church leaders and lay members to become part of the movement by downloading the free resource at SeeAllThePeople.org. He also urged church leaders to start a conversation using the hashtag #SeeAllThePeople and to share the resources available on the website.
“Let’s start a new conversation that looks outward and begins with creative and innovative ways to see and reach the people around us, so we can make disciples for the transformation of the world,” Dotson said.
Bishop Mark J. Webb, president of the Discipleship Ministries Board of Directors and Episcopal leader of the Upper New York Area, said he believes the #SeeAllThePeople initiative “will help our church work to reach the goal of making one million new disciples of Jesus Christ by the year 2020.