Intentional Discipleship: Believed, lived, passed on

Intentional Discipleship: Believed, lived, passed on

21 January 2015

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Intentional Discipleship: Believed, lived, passed on

In our short series based on Sherry Weddell's remarkable and provoking book on the state of Western Catholicism: "Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus", we have discussed some of the issues facing our Church and taken a closer look at what it means to be not just believers but followers of Jesus Christ.  But how is this lived out within a Church School setting? If a child's only contact with the Gospel truths is in our schools, how can they be best communicated?

Firstly, I suggest we make the conscious decision ourselves to become intentional disciples. The Victorian mantra of "Don't do as I do, do as I say" won't cut it here I'm afraid. If our children are going to become the passionate followers of Jesus our world so desperately needs, they're going to have to see this lifestyle modelled out by adults they trust and respect.

Practically however, how can this be achieved? Inspired by Weddell's definition of discipleship quoted in a previous blog, I have selected four of the "characteristics" she describes. To better suit our purposes, I have replaced the word "disciples" with "Church School leaders" and added some questions of my own. The result is as follows..

  • "Church School leaders pray with passion". How can we make prayer a priority, not just in assemblies but in the classroom and staff meetings also? How can we ignite a passion for prayer in our children through new and creative expressions?
  • "Church School leaders evangelise and share their faith with their students" How can we create an environment where talking about God and what it means to live in relationship with Him is the norm? How can we show our children that faith is not something to be embarrassed about but celebrated?
  • "Church School leaders are passionate about the poor and issues of justice" How can we convey Jesus' heart for the poor to our children? How can we encourage, equip and empower them to take a stand against poverty and injustice?
  • "Church School leaders take risks for the Kingdom of God". If our faith was "taken out of the equation" how different would our lives really look? What habits and choices can we incorporate into our daily lives that keep us dependant of Him and awake to the Kingdom of God?

These are just some thoughts about how we can practically begin to live as intentional disciples in our Church Schools. Can you offer any of your own or examples from your parish or school?



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