A year ago, Centre Grove’s church council began reading Bishop Robert Schnase‘s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. I’m blogging the journey and have written several posts tagged Five Practices.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about our experience with the Five Practices, partly because we’ve been slowly making our way through Intentional Faith Development (the second practice we’re tackling). Last June, I wrote Intentional Faith Development 1.0 and Intentional Faith Development 2.0.
Sunday school is an ongoing part of our discipleship process, but we added a few small groups last fall and they’ll continue into the new year. We’re taking another big step this year in the development of some sort of short-term class structure, perhaps something like Saddleback’s C.L.A.S.S. system involving four levels of classes, 101, 201, 301, and 401, designed to help people become more fully devoted followers of Jesus. Of course, we’ll need to adapt the material for our context.
It will take some time to get all the (short-term) classes, which will be offered periodically, going, but we’ll start with Class 101 and add the others as we feel we’re ready to do so. We don’t know what kind of response we’ll get to the new discipleship opportunities, but we expect them to be an important part of our discipleship process moving forward. In fact, Class 101 will be a required class for new members. That way, we expect to get new members started off on the right foot.
While we’ve reached the point of developing this new structure for intentional faith development, we are moving on to the next practice. So far, our reading and discussion of the Five Practices has brought about some new, important developments. I continue to look forward to what new developments await as we move on to Passionate Worship, Risk-Taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity. Passionate Worship is up next.