Monday, March 16, 2009

Wineskins for Discipleship

...coming this fall to a bookstore near you...

I guess I should give a little heads up as to why my blogging has been (and will continue to be) curiously spotty over the next few weeks. I'm up against a writing deadline for my first small group curriculum, Wineskins for Discipleship, being published by the Threads division of Lifeway.

Our generation desperately needs to be discipled. And I believe there are ways of making disciples that no one has thought of yet. But before we start inventing, let's take a look back over 2,000 years of history to see how the church has discipled people throughout its existence. There might be something we can learn.

Wineskins for Discipleship divides church history and its approach to spiritual growth very roughly into 5 categories-
  • Relational- people grew in their relationship with Christ as they grew in relationship with one another (small groups, accountability, mentoring)
  • Experiential- people grew in their relationship with Christ as they were immersed in a multi-sensory medieval worship experience (retreats, pilgrimage, stations of the cross)
  • Intellectual- people grew in their relationship with Christ as they studied the Scriptures and developed systems of theological thought (inductive Bible study, systematic theology, apologetics, reading of the classics)
  • Personal- people grew in their relationship with Christ as they implemented personal spiritual disciplines into their lives (quiet times, spiritual disciplines, rule of life)
  • Incarnational- people grew in their relationship with Christ as they strove to become the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around them (missions, outreach, hospitality)
The study will be part church history, part Bible study, and part experimentation with new discipleship practices and spiritual disciplines.


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Sounds like a great framework - I'm excited to see what all you do with it. Also interested in the church history stuff. Praying for ya, as you continue to develop the ideas that God plants in that head of yours.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Mike Sharrow said...

Excellent, Heather! Wow, I am uber stoked to see the angle of learning from church history patterns to illuminate the breadth and depth of spiritual formation/discipleship pathways. The full dimensional effect of that approach should make for some distinctive curriculum which I look forward to kicking around with our leaders!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Frank Chiapperino said...

Congrats on your study being published! I can't wait to see it in print and I ams sure it will make a difference in the lives of others.


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