A couple months ago, we wrote about becoming Provisional Elders in The United Methodist Church, which took place at Annual Conference last month.
Over the course of the next two years, leading up to ordination as Full Elders, we’ll have some work to do. One part of the process is to work with a Covenant Group, composed of our clergy mentor, another Full Elder, and four members from each of our churches.
Our two Covenant Groups will actually meet together with our two clergy mentors every other month over the next two years. We will meet individually with our mentors on the alternating months. Our meetings will be guided by a learning covenant that each of us will put together with our mentors in the next few weeks. The purpose of the group is to provide support and feedback.
We had our first group session last night, which was primarily introductory. We also settled on a book to study together in the months ahead — Simple Church by Thom Rainer. It is a book about developing a clear focus for the church’s discipleship process.
Google Books has a preview that includes the first 50+ pages of the book (also, Lifeway.com has a PDF of chapter 1 available.) And last month, Thom Rainer posted a reflection on his blog in which he restates the purpose the book and reflects on the impact it has had in the three years since it was published.
We are looking forward to this part of the process. We are grateful to those who have committed to making this part of our journey meaningful — we believe it will be an important part of our ongoing growth as Christ-following leaders!