Read the Introduction
The ministry of congregations is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Behind that simple and seemingly self-evident statement lies a problematic reality, however. While congregations know that disciple making is at the heart of their identity, they often have trouble understanding how to go about it. Apart from such traditional Christian education ministries as Sunday school, too little formal thinking or planning goes into the task of forming Christians in the faith.
In this book Sondra Matthaei casts a vision in which congregations open up their life of faith to others as an invitation to connect the universal longing for authentic relationships and deeper meaning with the churchs practice of faithful discipleship. As folks enter the churchs communion of grace, Matthaei challenges church leaders to utilize the gifts of every member and lays out a plan to help congregations grow in faith and communion with God and creation, including the context and goal of such ministry, deciding what to teach and who shall teach, and attendant relationships, structures, and practices.
Sondra Higgins Matthaei is Professor of Christian Religious Education at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. She is the author of Making Disciples: Faith Formation in the Wesleyan Tradition, also published by Abingdon Press.
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