Transforming Disciples
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95 pages

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Make the transition from consumer religion to participatory faith by building congregational relationships that nourish people spiritually and empower them to risk living, worshipping, learning, and serving God and each other in new and enlivening ways.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 septembre 2008
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780898698268
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1248€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


2008 by Linda L. Grenz
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher.
Unless otherwise indicated, all passages from the scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Grenz, Linda L., 1950-
Transforming disciples / by Linda L. Grenz.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-0-89869-598-4 (pbk.) ISBN 978-0-89869-826-8 (ebook)
1. Church renewal. 2. Episcopal Church-Forecasting. 3. Discipling (Christianity) 4. Spiritual formation. I. Title. BV600.3.G74 2008 283 .73090511-dc22
Cover design by Stefan Killen Design. Study guide and interior design by Vicki K. Black.
Church Publishing, Incorporated 445 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10016

Series Preface
1. Changing Church, Changing World
2. Making Disciples
3. Building Blocks for Transformation
4. A Resources Travel Guide
5. A New Vision of Discipleship

A Guide for Discussion
a note from the publisher
This series emerged as a partnership between the Office of Mission of the Episcopal Church and Church Publishing, as a contribution to the mission of the church in a new century. We would like to thank James Lemler, series editor, for bringing the initial idea to us and for facilitating the series. We also want to express our gratitude to the Office of Mission for two partnership grants: the first brought all the series authors together for two creative days of brainstorming and fellowship; and the second is helping to further publicize the books of the series to the clergy and lay people of the Episcopal Church.
Series Preface
B e ye transformed (KJV). Be transformed by the renewing of your minds (NRSV). Fix your attention on God. You ll be changed from the inside out ( The Message) . Thus St. Paul exhorted the earliest Christian community in his writing to the Romans two millennia ago. This exhortation was important for the early church and it is urgent for the Episcopal Church to heed as it enters the twenty-first century. Be transformed. Be changed from the inside out.
Perhaps no term fits the work and circumstances of the church in the twenty-first century better than transformation. We are increasingly aware of the need for change as we become ever more mission-focused in the life of the church, both internationally and domestically. But society as a whole is rapidly moving in new directions, and mission cannot be embraced in an unexamined way, relying on old cultural and ecclesiastical stereotypes and assumptions.
This new series, Transformations: The Episcopal Church in the 21st Century, addresses these issues in realistic and hopeful ways. Each book focuses on one area within the Episcopal Church that is urgently in need of transformation in order for the church to be effective in the twenty-first century: vocation, evangelism, preaching, congregational life, getting to know the Bible, leadership, Christian formation, worship, and stewardship. Each volume explains why a changed vision is essential, gives robust theological and biblical foundations, offers guidelines to best practices and positive trends, describes the necessary tools for change, and imagines how transformation will look.
In this volume Linda Grenz, the founder and publisher of LeaderResources and a leader in the field of Christian education, addresses the topic of formation and disciple-ship in the Episcopal Church. The church of the twenty-first century will need to be a learning community, but formation in discipleship today too often entails simply a limited number of educational programs offered to child, teen, and adult consumers who move on if they do not find what they want. How can we make the transition from consumer religion to participatory faith in a time of stress and upheaval, developing models and spiritual practices to feed the growing hunger in our churches for spiritual growth, maturity, and vision?
Like Christians in the early church, today we live in a secular culture that can be apathetic and even hostile to Christianity. Living in a setting where people are not familiar with the message or narrative of Christian believing requires new responses and new kinds of mission for the Body of Christ. We believe this is a hopeful time for spiritual seekers and inquirers in the church. The gospel itself is fresh for this century. God s love is vibrant and real; God s mission can transform people s hopes and lives. Will we participate in the transformation? Will we be bearers and agents of transformation for others? Will we ourselves be transformed? This is the call and these are the urgent questions for the Episcopal Church in the twenty-first century.
But first, seek to be transformed. Fix your attention on God. You ll be changed from the inside out.
JAMES B. LEMLER, series editor
chapter one
Changing Church, Changing World

Mom, Dad, and the kids arrive at church. Nancy is left with the teenaged babysitter in the nursery. Thomas joins the rest of the teenagers in the youth room downstairs, where their teacher will try to keep them interested in the Bible study lesson. The rest of the family settles into their usual pew. The priest, vested in a cassock, surplice, and stole, is assisted by a teenager who is both crucifer and server. The service is Morning Prayer and the prayers and lessons are in Elizabethan English. Bobby and Susan sit impatiently with their parents until the sermon, when it is time for them to leave for Sunday school. Susan goes to the third-grade class, where she hears a story about Noah and the ark and then colors a picture that she ll bring home with her. Bobby is off to the sixth-grade class, where he learns about the early Christians being thrown to the lions in Rome. He and his friends spend part of the hour pretending to be lions, silently roaring while the teacher s back is turned. Meanwhile, their parents kneel while the priest reads prayers and then they listen to his sermon before spending a few minutes at coffee hour chatting with friends. At the end of Sunday school, Mom and Dad gather the children and head home for lunch.
Dad and the kids arrive at church in time for everyone to head to Sunday school. Dad brings Nancy to the Godly Play worship and she is greeted at the door by an adult, who invites her to find a rug square and join the circle of children with today s storyteller on the carpeted floor. Susan and Bobby are immersed in the story of Noah and the ark for the third week. Susan s group is in the music room, where they are learning a song about the animals in the ark. Bobby s group is in the theater, reenacting the story from the perspective of the animals. Afterward they engage in a lively discussion about what the animals might have experienced, their relationship with God, and how global warming might be a modern Noah story. The youth group, just back from a pilgrimage in Ireland, has been engaged in a ministry discernment process and Thomas has decided he feels called to serve as a eucharistic visitor. Today he plans to ask David, a man in his sixties, if he will serve as his ministry mentor. Meanwhile, Dad is in the parlor, where he leads a small group through a process of theological reflection on the gospel lesson of the day. A second group is discussing a chapter in a book they are studying, while a third group is watching a DVD down the hall. Comfortable sofas, the New York Times, and a smattering of resources about the environment are engaging another loosely assembled group of individuals in the library, who gather to read, drink coffee, and chat during this hour.
At the end of the hour, Bobby joins the procession as a torchbearer. The priest is wearing the chasuble that the youth group designed out of their pilgrimage experience; one of the deacons, vested in a matching dalmatic and carrying the gospel book, accompanies her. Susan sits with her dad in a circle of chairs around a central altar. Nearby there is a rug on the floor with soft toys for Nancy and the other little ones. Sometimes Susan helps entertain her sister and the other children, but usually she is engrossed in the service. Today Susan and her friends are leading the Prayers of the People, so she eagerly awaits her turn at the microphone and proudly reads her intercession while Nancy stands with some of her rug friends, whom she has gathered to pray with Susan. The service uses contemporary language and is printed in a bulletin that also contains the hymns. Members of the congregation read the lessons and lead the prayers. At communion time, Dad, Susan, and Nancy all receive the Eucharist together; Thomas, as usual, is sitting with his youth group and receives the Eucharist with them.
After the service, Dad and the girls head to the lobby to wait for Mom, who is coming by to pick them up. Next weekend the children will be with her, so Dad checks the schedule to make sure that none of them are listed to do anything at church next Sunday. Mom arrives and the girls head off to Susan s soccer practice, catching lunch at a fast food place along the way. Thomas leaves with a promise to drop Bobby off at his trumpet lesson while Dad joins a group in the parlor to talk about what their church needs to do to help newcomers understand the Episcopal Church and its theology in the midst of the current c

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