The Trinity Church Discipleship Path Where are you on your Discipleship Journey? What is your Next Step along the Path?
Discipleship? What is it? And what does it have to do with me? As a part of Trinity Church, YOU are a disciple! Disciples are simply followers of Jesus Christ. One of the most basic things we do as a church is help people grow as disciples. We are all about following
Jesus, seeking to be more like him. As disciples we strive to do the kinds of things Jesus did, go to the kinds of places Jesus went, be with the kinds of people Jesus was with, and love the way Jesus loved. As disciples we seek to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.
he journey we take to follow Jesus more closely is called discipleship. That includes all of the activities we under-
take to grow as Christians. Discipleship includes all of the
experiences that help us to love God and others more deeply. It is the continual process of maturing in our faith. It includes coming to worship, our prayer lives, our study of the bible and the faith, the giving of our offering, serving others, the relationships in our Christian community, the small groups in which we participate, sharing love and faith with others, transforming the world into a more whole, peaceful, and just place, and more.
Discipleship is both a thing that God does in us through grace and a thing that we work at ourselves. Grace is God’s love for us. Grace is an undeserved, free gift to us from God.
Grace paves the way
ahead of us and hems us in from behind. God’s grace is there before we know we need it or want it. God’s grace brings us close to God and aligns our hearts, minds, and lives with God. Forgiveness is rooted deeply in grace. Grace is what wipes the slate clean and allows us new beginnings. Grace shapes us into people who love as God loves. Discipleship is largely about letting God do these things in us. At the same time, discipleship is also about an intentional effort on our part to seek God, to be more like Jesus, to do all the good we can, to do no harm, and to do everything we can to draw close to God. Disci-
pleship is about seeking the Kingdom of God.
Discipleship is also about an intentional effort on our part to seek God, to be more like Jesus, do to all the good we can, to do no harm, and to do everything we can to draw close to God.
YOU are a disciple. And we hope that you can see yourself on a path of discipleship with the help of Trinity Church.
What is the Discipleship Path? And why does it matter? Trinity’s Discipleship Path is not a new program, a new small group, or a new ministry of our church. Rather, it is a framework to help us live more fully into our call to be and make disciples for the transformation of the world and to be a fellowship seeking to share the love
and word of Jesus Christ with all.
We become disciples by God’s grace and through intentional effort to let God’s grace change us into people who love God and love neighbor the way God
The Discipleship Path is a way of organizing and understanding our various ministries so that we can engage more fully with them in a way that will help us to grow and mature in our faith journey.
loves. Discipleship is about active engagement. It’s not passive. It doesn’t just happen to us. The Discipleship Path gives us something to engage with. It helps us as a church to be sure we are providing tools and steps along the path for participants to grow as disciples. It helps each of us as disciples to make use of those tools and take the steps to grow further along our path. The Discipleship Path helps us as a church to take spiritual responsibility to do what we can to help you share the love and word of Jesus Christ with all, and it helps you take spiritual responsi-
bility to do the same.
he Discipleship Path is not a one size fits all kind of thing. In fact, one of the great gifts of the Path is that it helps us to see there are various spiritual types, which allow each
of us to connect deeply with God in different ways. It is also not linear, meaning that our Discipleship Path is not usually a straight line from point A to point B. God often encourages us to meander a bit in order to grow in breadth as well as depth, to create a more balanced experience and expression of the love and word of Jesus Christ. The Discipleship Path also serves as a reminder that we are indeed on a journey. Sometimes it’s easy, even in very active churches, to become stagnant, to continue to do the same things over and over
and wonder why we aren’t growing. Sometimes we forget what we are moving toward, what the point of discipleship is. In Mark 12:28-34, Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.” John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, called the goal of discipleship Total Sanctification or Christian Perfection, which is to love perfectly as God loves. We are called to be holy, and this happens in partnership and communion with God, the source of all grace. As we move toward the center, we experience salvation more fully. We dwell more fully in the Kingdom of God. And this also happens in partnership and communion with others in your church family. As we move closer to God, we also grow closer to one another, and vice versa. We do not travel alone either. We need both God and others to grow as disciples.
Our depiction of the Trinity Discipleship Path can be found in the center of this booklet, on pages 18 & 19.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
How do I interpret this image of the Trinity Church Discipleship Path? The Discipleship Path has several components to it. Note first that there are four quadrants or “slices” to the circle. We all have tendencies toward certain styles of living out our spirituality, certain ways that help us connect with God and others more easily than other
Each slice of the circle, with its own color, name, and symbol, represents one of the four commonly recognized spiritual types: Head, Heart, Soul, Hands and Feet.
ways. Usually we don’t just fit in one category, but we have one or more that are more dominant than the others. For instance, some of us are “Head” people primarily. We tend to really enjoy studying about God and the bible, learning and gaining knowledge. We pay attention to the words of the songs we sing. We tend to pray with words and value what we can touch, see, and vividly imagine. These things give us energy in our spiritual journey, and we can feel ourselves grow closer to God through them. Others of us are “Soul” people primarily. We tend to relish silence and contemplation, preferring to listen for God, rather than speak to God.
We tend to think of God in non-concrete, mysterious terms, and value simplicity and the inner world. You’ll find more full descriptions of all four types on pages 13-22.
ou’ll find that you are likely drawn more to one or two of these quadrants than others. That is good! That is your spiritual type and one part of your invitation is to journey
within your spiritual type(s) inward toward the center, toward the
cross of Christ, toward perfection in love, and to the very heart of God. 6
Another part of your invitation is to move around the circle to other quadrants, as God leads, to become more fully integrated, learning to love God with our whole selves, not only the aspects of ourselves which are easiest.
ext youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll notice that there are also three rings around the circle, labeled Come and See, Come and Follow, and Come and Abide. These rings indicate the continuing
invitations that Jesus offers us as we move farther along the Discipleship Path. There are also more detailed descriptions of each ring on pages 24-29. We are all somewhere along the path toward the heart of God, and being perfected in love. Regardless of where we are, there is still a path in front of us and Jesus continues to invite us more fully into a life of discipleship. Indeed we may be at the Come and See stage in terms of one type of spirituality, while at the same time being at the Come and Abide stage in another quadrant. The great thing about gaining an understanding of where we are on the path is that we then have a better idea of what our next step is, what invitation is awaiting us, and what Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grace is seeking to do in us. The Discipleship Path is represented as a circle, and there is balance in the whole. We need people in all areas of this path. We need people of other spiritual types to balance us out, to contribute to the whole where we cannot, to stretch us, and to teach us. We need people who are farther along the path to help us move closer to the middle. We are called to respect and honor where each person is in his or her Discipleship journey as part of our call to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We need people in all areas of this path. 7
How do I know where I am on the Trinity Church Discipleship Path? The Discipleship Path has twelve regions, and you will likely find that you are not in just one distinct point on the circle. We have two exercises for you to create a picture of where you are on the Path. First, we invite you to discover which spiritual type(s) best describe
you. What follows is a twelve-question Spiritual Type Inventory meant to help in this process, followed by more detailed descriptions of each spiritual type. Second, we invite you to contemplate which ring of the circle best matches how far along the path of discipleship you are at the moment. Each ring represents one of three of Jesus’ invitations to us in scripture: Come and See, Come and Follow, Come and Abide. Instructions for each are included here.
Spiritual Type Inventory Based on the Selector for Spiritual Type by Corinne Ware, in her book, Discover Your Spiritual Type: A Guide to Individual and Congregational Growth. ©1995 by the Alban Institute, Inc.
Below you see a circle, divided into four quadrants, numbered 1-4. This is followed by twelve questions. For each question, choose the statement or statements that describe what you personally prefer as part of your spiritual experience. You may select one statement
or more than one for each question. Match the number of the statement or statements you prefer for each question with the quadrant in the diagram. Draw one spoke or line going from the center to the outside edge of the circle in each of the quadrants that match the numbers of the statements that are “you.” In the end you’ll have a picture of which type(s) you prefer. You aren’t limited to just one! Instead you’ll see that you might prefer one more highly over the others or that you are really strong in two, but less so in the other two. Or you might discover that you are quite balanced among 8
three but much less familiar or experienced or comfortable with the fourth.
Use for your personal inventory
Example of completed inventory
A. When it comes to the order and elements of worship, I believe: 1.
A carefully planned and orderly worship program is a glory to God.
2. A deeply moving and spontaneous meeting is a glory to God. 3. Simplicity and some silence are important elements needed for worship. 4. It is not a service, but ordering ourselves to Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service that is important.
B. When it comes to the time we spend in worship, I prefer: 1.
Sticking to announced beginning and ending times of worship services.
2. Extending the meeting time if one feels led to do so. 3. Experiencing a sense of timelessness in worship, because all time is Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time. 4. Gathering whenever and as long as we need in order to accomplish the task. 9
C. When it comes to the way we pray, the most important things to me are: 1.
Using words to express poetic praise; asking for knowledge and guidance.
2. Letting words and feelings evoke God’s presence in this moment. 3. Emptying the mind of distractions and simply BEING in the presence of the Holy. 4. Letting my life and my work be my prayer.
D. When it comes to worship music, I believe: 1.
Music and lyrics express praise to God and belief about God.
2. Singing warms and unites us and expresses the soul’s deepest heart.
3. Chant and tone bring the soul to quietness and union with God. 4. Songs can mobilize and inspire to greater effort and dedication.
E. When it comes to preaching, my understanding is: 1.
The Word of God, rightly proclaimed, is the centerpiece of worship.
2. The gospel movingly preached is the power of God to change lives. 3. Proclamation is heard when the Spirit of God speaks to the inward heart. 4. What we do is our “preaching” and speaks louder than anything we say.
F. When considering our central purpose as Christians, I believe: 1.
A central purpose is that we fulfill our vocation or calling in the world.
2. A central purpose is that we learn to walk in holiness with the Lord. 3. A central purpose is that we be one with the Creator. 4. A central purpose is that we obey God’s will completely.
G. When considering various causes I prefer to support through the church, the most important to me are: (if it’s helpful, circle the words that apply and select categories with the most circles) 1.
Support seminaries, publishing houses, scholarship, preaching to others.
2. Support evangelism, missions, spreading the word on television and radio. 3. Support places of retreat, spiritual direction, liturgical reform. 4. Support political action to establish justice in society and its institutions.
H. When someone else critiques my preferred expression of faith: 1.
Sometimes they say I am too intellectual, dogmatic, and “dry”.
2. Sometimes they say I am too emotional, dogmatic, and antiintellectual. 3. Sometimes they say I am escaping from the world and am not realistic. 4. Sometimes they say I have tunnel vision and am too moralistic.
I. When it comes to the primary themes I prefer to focus on in my faith journey, the most important to me are: (if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s helpful, circle the words that apply and select categories with the most circles) 1.
Discernment, discipline, knowledge, order, grace, justification.
2. Love, conversion, witness, spontaneity, sanctification. 3. Poverty, humility, wisdom, letting go, transcendence. 4. Simplicity, purity of heart, action, temperance, obedience, martyrdom.
J. When it comes to requirements for membership in the Body of Christ, I believe the necessary things are: 1.
Assent to doctrine, baptism, endorsement by other church members.
2. A personal inward experience of God, baptism, public declaration of faith. 3. All who face God-ward are incorporated into the Holy. 4. Solidarity with humankind is membership in Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kingdom.
K. When it comes to ritual and liturgy (formal patterns and tradi-
tions in worship, such as holy communion, baptism, passing the peace, saying the creeds, etc.), I believe: 1.
Ritual and liturgy evoke memory and presence, teaching traditional truths.
2. Liturgy and ritual ceremonies are not of great importance. 3. Ritual and liturgy are ways in which God becomes present to us. 4. Ritual and liturgy are one way we make statements about inner conviction. 12
L. When it comes to my concept and experience of God, I believe: 1.
God is revealed in scripture, sacrament, and in Jesus Christ and his cross.
2. I can feel that God is real and that Christ lives in my heart. 3. God is mystery and can be grasped for but not completely known. 4. We participate in the mystery of God when we become cocreators with God in the world.
Now that you have a picture of your spirituality type(s), read the more detailed descriptions of each type.
Head Spirituality Type If you have a Head Spirituality Type, you are likely to:
Have an intellectual “thinking” spirituality; like to use your head.
Connect with God primarily through what you can see, touch, and vividly imagine.
Value responsibility, logic, and order.
Be seen by others as dependable, someone to rely on.
Find structure, organization, tradition important.
Love words, written and spoken.
Enjoy a good lecture, serious discussions, theological reflection.
Seek out bible study groups, theological study, intellectually stimulating sermons.
Focus on the words of songs and hymns we sing, making sure we are singing what we believe.
Be able to put words to and make sense of experiences of God.
Tend to seek spiritual guidance primarily from scripture, sermon, and theological text.
Find reading, journaling, and focused meditation to be fruitful spiritual activities.
Tend to pray in ways that are language and word-based, whether aloud or silent.
Express ideas about God in concrete ways, such as God as Father and / or Mother. The incarnation (the Word made flesh) is another concrete and tangible concept, which likely resonates particularly with you.
Seek out gatherings of believers, especially ones which are ordered, well-planned, focused on the spoken and written word.
Feel a duty to serve, give, care, and share with others in the community.
Support and relish education and publication.
Help others think through ethical issues.
You are needed for your ability to think clearly and orderly, to pay attention to detail that others overlook, and to keep things from falling into chaos. To people of other spiritual types, you might seem unfeeling, too intellectual or dry. Some who are primarily Head-Type Spirituality people include: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Maya Angelou, Thomas Aquinas, Yoda (from Star
Wars), Mr. Spock (from Star Trek), Moses, Matthew (as in the Book of Matthew). 14
Heart Spirituality Type If you have a Heart Spirituality Type, you are likely to:
Be all heart. Be a lover. Be a feeling type. Your spirituality comes primarily from the heart and your emotions.
Be expressive, perhaps even charismatic.
Connect with God primarily through what you can see, touch, and vividly imagine.
Express ideas about God in concrete ways, such as God as Father and / or Mother. The incarnation (the Word made flesh) is another concrete and tangible concept, which likely resonates particularly with you.
See personal renewal as your spiritual goal.
Seek what moves you emotionally.
Be able to experience joy, which also helps you be open to the experience of God in the moment.
Know God is real because you feel it deeply.
See God as a nurturing parent.
Connect with God through heartfelt feeling and intuition, connection, and action.
Seek to share your faith with others, hoping to help them find faith as well (evangelism) because you want to share the experience you have had with others.
Have had (or seek to have) one or more transforming experiences, sometimes of a sudden and obvious nature. Perhaps you name this a conversion experience or know it to be a moment you knew you experienced salvation.
Seek worship that involves heartfelt, emotion-filled music and preaching. 15
Be moved by testimonials, witnesses, or people sharing personal stories of faith and transformation. You might even be inclined to give these yourself, as you believe that real faith must be shared.
Be passionate about holy living.
Emphasize the immanence of God; that is to be especially aware of God’s tangible, active presence and action in the here and now. You can feel God’s presence.
Pray with words (either aloud or silently), often extemporaneously; that is, you are less likely to plan your prayer out ahead of time. You share with God what is on your heart at the moment.
Engage in service to others with the hope that it also brings an opportunity to share your faith.
Be focused on satisfying immediate needs, which at times means neglecting long-term needs.
Need permission or make effort to acknowledge anger, disappointment, sadness, doubt, and allow yourself to be less than ideal.
You are needed for your warmth of feeling, your energy, your enthusiasm, your ability to have fun, and your freedom of expression others sometimes lack. To people of other spiritual types, you might seem exclusive, not accepting the spiritual experiences of others, which may differ from yours. You might seem overly emotional or anti-intellectual. Some who are primarily Heart-Type Spirituality people include: Billy Graham, Mark (as in the Book of Mark), Mary Magdalene, The Dalai Lama. To people of other spiritual types, you might seem disconnected, idealistic, or as if you dwell in or even escape to another world.
Soul Spirituality Type If you have a Soul Spirituality Type, you are likely to:
Be more focused on hearing from God or being with God than speaking to God.
See union with God as your spiritual goal, though you know in your head that this is never completely achievable. Still your heart knows that the effort, the journey toward oneness with God is extremely important.
Be contemplative, introspective, imaginative, and intuitive by nature.
Be focused on an inner world, which is as real to you as the exterior one.
Value peace, harmony, and inner silence.
See God as unnameable, indescribable, unknowable, transcendent, and vast. In other words, while others may focus on the human attributes of God, you are intrigued by the mystery, vastness, and unknowableness of God.
Experience God best through rich images and symbols.
See God as a creative force, one who has and is still creating.
See a life of austerity and asceticism as appealing, because a simplicity of life can quiet outside distractions and enable you to attend more fully to God and hear that still small voice more clearly.
Find that you don’t always fit in and feel as comfortable as others seem in our American Protestant churches, which tend to be more oriented to Head and Heart Spiritual Types.
Discover writings or teachings of mystics or other Soul-Type people and feel as though you have just found water after wandering, thirsty, in the desert. You may even be a mystic yourself.
Be nurtured by walking alone in the woods or sitting quietly with a trusted friend.
Wonder if organized religion (especially in the American Protestant form) is really for you and be attracted to Eastern spiritual practices, such as meditation, yoga, icons, centering prayer.
Enjoy poetry, meditation, wordless prayer, candles, art, books, anything that helps you connect with God.
Be focused on renewal of inner life.
Pray without words, seeking to hear God’s voice or dwell in God’s presence.
Pray through art, movement, or with icons, seeking to embody prayer.
Seek the presence of God, the spiritual nature in all things and experiences.
Want to inspire and persuade others, helping them (and yourself) to lead lives of significance.
Be a writer, poet, artist, or musician, who inspires and conveys the Holy to others.
Need permission to retreat and seek solitude.
Feel guilty and odd as you desire solitude and silence, as our culture tends to suggest that being alone and doing “nothing” is lazy, antisocial, and unproductive.
You are needed for your inspirational and uplifting spirituality that fuels our daily lives with a sense of the Holy, your ability to push the frontiers of spirituality and enable us to imagine what we might do and be if we would be open enough. To people of other spiritual types, you might seem disconnected, idealistic, or as if you dwell in or even escape to another world. 20
Some who are primarily Soul-Type Spirituality people include: Thomas Merton, Brother Lawrence, the Desert Mothers and Fathers, Julian of Norwich, Anthony de Mello, Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi, Lawrence Kushner, John (as in the Book of John).
Hands and Feet Spirituality Type If you have a Hands and Feet Spirituality Type, you are likely to:
Be an active, intellectual visionary.
Have a single-minded, deeply focused spirituality, devoted to causes that deeply and spiritually move you and stir your passions.
Experience God best through serving others.
Value competence and knowledge.
Be good at leading and influencing others.
Be more concerned with building up and living in the Kingdom of God than affiliating with a particular branch of organized religion.
Be a heroic change agent, someone others admire for your willingness to make a difference.
Not be content until society has been transformed.
Cause others some discomfort, as many aren’t usually comfortable around martyrs and people so set on change, so willing to sacrifice to make it happen.
See obeying God and looking ahead to God’s coming reign as your primary spiritual goals.
Be courageous and idealistic in a way that enables you to bring about change in the world. 21
Have a passion for transforming society.
Be assertive (perhaps aggressive) in your desire to implement a vision of the world as the Kingdom of God on earth.
Sacrifice in your personal life for your hope in God’s Kingdom, even to the point of martyrdom.
See the transformation of society as your personal crusade, as you feel a strong desire to right the wrongs of the world.
Pray through your work and actions. Pray with your hands and feet. Equate prayer and theology with action.
Find yourself impatient, angry, or exasperated with authority figures, systems, injustice, and others (including congregations) around you who do not share your passion and spiritual energy.
Feel most comfortable in groups who share your vision.
You are needed for your ability to lead us in and through the difficult issues of our time, your vision of the ideal, and your ability to lead and effect real change in the world. To people of other spiritual types, you might seem to be overly moralistic, have tunnel-vision, dismissive of those who do not support the same causes as you. Your zeal and passion may cause others to feel guilty, as you trouble the lives of the complacent and point out the troubles in our world. Some who are primarily Hands and Feet-Type Spirituality people include: The Hebrew prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, for example), Apostolic Fathers and Mothers (the leaders of the early church, the Disciples, many of whom died as martyrs), Savonarola, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Luke (as in the Book of Luke). 22
Come and See, Come and Follow, Come and Abide Now we look to see where we are on the Discipleship Path in terms of how far along the path we are, which of Jesus’ invitations we are currently accepting or working to accept. Go back to pages 18 and 19, where Trinity’s Discipleship Path is depicted, listing ministries, worship services, activities, etc. Mark each of the activities with which you are involved on the circle. Notice where your activities
are concentrated. Notice how your activity aligns with your primary spiritual types from the previous inventory. Following is a description of each of the three “rings” around the Discipleship Path circle, indicating steps of progress toward the cross, toward the heart of God, toward Christian Perfection. In addition to seeing where your activities and involvement are concentrated, move through the following descriptions to understand more
where you are along the path and where your next steps, your next invitations will take you. You might even circle words or experiences that describe where you already are on the journey so you can have another visual representation. The names of the three rings (Come and See, Come and Follow, Come and Abide) represent
that Christ offers people in scripture. You’ll see some
ences through which you can more fully explore what these invitations are. What invitation are you being given?
Come and See
Come and Follow
Psalm 66:5, John 1:39, John 1:36, Mark 1:17, Mark 8:34, Luke 18:22, John 4:29 John 1:43, John 10:27
For this disciple the focus is on themselves and exploration
This disciple begins to see his or her connection with the Church and the larger Body of Christ, focused on intensifying his or her relationship with God.
Seeking something - may or may not know what that something is
Has found friends in the church
Commitment to people / groups /ministries is established
Willing to try things like small groups, bible studies, missions or other ministries
Still seeking; looks for opportunities to serve God
Increased understanding of the need for God, God’s grace, and other people.
Feeling inspired or nudged
Experiencing a desire for more, for the divine.
Experiencing a discontent in the status quo, desiring a change
Thirsty for more knowledge of God
Increased desire to serve God and others.
Come and Abide Sanctifying grace John 6:56, John 15:4-7
Orientation This disciple focuses on living life within God's kingdom and sees his or her role in furthering the Kingdom of God in this world.
Sees a responsibility to the work of the kingdom
Seeks ever deepening connections to God and others
Sees himself or herself as a minister not a volunteer
Has a sense of call and purpose in God’s kingdom
Seeks the leading of the Holy Spirit in all things
Leadership and commitment are evident and practiced
Leadership continues to mature
Greater fruits of transformation are evident
Fruits of the Spirit become evident.
Reflecting God to others, living in imago dei
Come and See
Come and Follow
Initial fruits of transformation become more evident
Taking ownership for their spiritual journey
Seeks the tools to continue to grow in relationship to God
Grateful, recognizing blessings, the ways that God is working in his or her life.
Leadership may begin to emerge and be established
Involvement in church / faith activities becomes a priority
Becoming aligned with God’s will, purpose, image, and law
Growing in the knowledge that one is God’s beloved, living into one’s baptism
An awakening or new awareness of grace, God, community
Reserve, caution, doubt about what church is about or who God is or what will fill the longing he or she is experiencing Involvement in Church / faith activities is one of many activities in life, and on par with other things
Come and Abide Qualities (continued)
Understands oneself to be forgiven
Offers that forgiveness to others
Involvement in faith activities undergirds all other activities and aspects of life
Empowered and equipped for service
Has surrendered to the need and the reality of God’s grace
Is being perfected in love, learning to love as God loves
Allowing God to transform you into the person you were created to be.
Come and See
Come and Follow
What is this disciple doing or What is this disciple doing or studying or involved in? studying or involved in?
This disciple often begins with attending worship.
He or she may attend fellowship activities.
He or she may start with a Lenten study or other small group.
Take a spiritual gifts inventory.
Take the spiritual type inventory.
Go through the new member process.
Often commitments are smaller or non-existent, wishing to try something out, rather than commit fully.
Proclamation of faith, baptism, becoming a member of the church, if not already done so. If already have done this, reaffirming the faith.
Worship attendance is consistent.
Giving is committed and consistent, and increasing.
Regular service in and beyond the church is established.
Increased commitment to growth by participating more consistently in small groups, bible studies, ministry activities. Growing in ability to articulate his or her faith, understand theological concepts, deepen understanding of and knowledge of scripture, and the application of all of these things to his or her life.
Continues to explore and ask questions that deepen engagement and understanding.
Spiritual disciplines, holy habits becoming part of his or her life.
Come and Abide What is this disciple doing or studying or involved in?
This disciple is immersed further in the spiritual disciplines.
Worship attendance remains consistent and there is an understanding of being able to worship in all that we do.
Giving is sacrificial and at or beyond tithing level.
Continues to seek more in depth opportunities to grow in understanding of the Christian faith, scripture study, spiritual disciplines, missions, and justice ministry.
Seeks opportunities to serve and does so daily.
Seeks a mentor or a spiritual director.
Shares his or her faith with others for the purpose of building disciples.
Nurtures / mentors others who are on their spiritual journey.
How do I decide where to go next? Challenge yourself to move inward toward the more richly colored segments, hearing the next invitation of Christ, allowing God’s grace in more fully, drawing closer to the cross of Christ, the heart of God, and perfection in love. Challenge yourself to grow around the circle into other types to become more fully integrated. Recognize that others are in a different place than you, both in terms of spiritual type and along the path. Recognize that we need one another to have a balanced whole and to draw us, teach us, and challenge us along our Discipleship Path. Below are some suggestions for the four spirituality types to help you both move more toward the center of the circle and to move around the circle. Start with your primary spiritual type, but don’t forget to explore other types, as well.
Head Spirituality Type: It’s likely that you appreciate order, that your high spiritual moments come when something is said (out loud, in a song, or in writing) that brought you a moment of deeper understanding or was able to articulate something you know deep inside to be true. If the written word in particular stirs you this way set out on an intentional reading path. Ask someone who has said that thing that stirs you to recommend other authors or books or topics. If you read something that intrigues you, read more from that author or look at its bibliography or even the recommendations on the online bookseller’s page for that author or book. Look for periodicals or journals or blogs that speak to your heart.
Be sure you are exploring the various bible studies we offer here at Trinity Church. Explore speakers or workshops being offered at Centenary College or Drew University or other places nearby. Search the web for videos or recorded sermons, podcasts, teachings. Look at some of the online courses we offer through www.BeADisciple.com. Study not just the streams of thought that you agree with, but also those which stretch you and get you thinking, helping you to open your mind and think critically. Remember that Head-Type people who stick only to Head-Type things risk becoming “dry” and out of touch with real-life feelings and situations. To gain more balance, stretch across the circle to explore Soul-Type Spirituality. Seek opportunities, experiences and teachers who help you quietly enjoy God and be in God’s presence. You may not see the point in doing this, in letting go of doing, asking, thinking, even listening. Walk the Labyrinth by Trinity House, or try out Centering Prayer or other small groups in the Soul quadrant. As you do, you can feed your Head-Type Spirituality by asking what you have learned from “doing nothing” with the SoulType people. Talk with people who connect to God more through Soul and Heart Type Spirituality, seeking to understand more what their connection with God is like. It’s likely that these may be the harder experiences for you to understand.
Heart Spirituality Type: Your strength is in your ability to experience God in the moment, to revel in what is happening, and to deeply feel. One thing that is important for you is to remember that God has not departed when the “mountain top”, high feeling wanes. It’s important to value the “low” moments along with the “high” ones. 31
Be sure that you are feeding your connection with God through experiences and feelings by connecting with others who connect in similar ways. Foster those relationships that help you connect, help you articulate your feelings and experiences of God. Be sure you come to worship weekly, and if you haven’t tried Saturday Night Worship or the 9:15 a.m. sanctuary service, you might find that the music, the energy, and the informality fit you well. Be sure you are part of a small group which focuses on connection and relationship. Music may be a primary connection point for you, so tune your radio to or fill your iPod or your CD player with music that stirs your spirit and draws you into God’s presence and speaks to your emotions. Perhaps you connect even more by leading others in sharing the joy of connection through music. Participate in one of the musical groups. If you don’t think of yourself as very musical, offer to support one of our groups in other ways. All of our praise bands require set-up and take-down. Perhaps you are able to help make them sound as best as possible by serving with our A/V ministry. Be careful not to think that your way of connecting with God is the “right” way of connecting with God. Be aware if you feel that others have missed the boat or are out of touch, and avoid being defensive or exclusive about your own spirituality. Try especially to connect with people who are more Soulor Head-oriented to understand their experience. Seek balance by stretching across the circle toward the Hands and Feet quadrant. Your passion and enthusiasm can truly make a difference in our world, benefitting many people. Is there a social cause, an injustice in our world that stirs you up? Stretch by doing some research on the issue, rather than taking the word of others or judging from a few anecdotal experiences to form your opinions and course of action. Expand your scope to gain a broad, more global view of the issue. If you haven’t participated in some of our mission opportunities through Trinity, try some out. If you already have participated, stretch yourself to try out ones that seem more challenging to you. 32
Soul Spirituality Type: For you, the journey is far more important than the destination. You may feel as though you are on a quest. You might even feel very restless, aware of the “more” for which you yearn. For you investing your time and energy into the spiritual journey will pay off greatly. Part of what will feed your soul is discovering that being feels more important to you than doing. You will also discover that the journey of learning just to be is quite difficult and also quite nourishing and can lead to a “deeper sort of knowing”. There are many books out there which can help you focus on your inner life. Explore the spiritual classics like The Cloud of Unknowning, the writings of Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen. Explore the Desert Mothers and Fathers. Go to the library or do some online searching to find out more about this type of spirituality. Seek out someone who is farther along the Soul-Type Spirituality path than you are and seek their counsel. You may feel the desire to de-clutter your world in various ways. Try getting rid of some of the distractions that may have just become habit for you so that you can nurture that desire to dwell in God’s presence and focus more of your attention on God. Turn off the TV. Sit outside or go for a walk in the woods. Sit quietly with a trusted friend. Light a candle and just be for a bit. Come to a Centering Prayer group or our other Soul-oriented groups. Explore different spiritual disciplines and ways to pray. Be sure to stop by the sanctuary for our A Time For Prayer evenings. Go on a retreat – attend the annual Women’s Retreat or the Fishing with Jesus men’s getaway. Maybe you have a hunger to explore God through art. Balance is essential for you too, or you may find yourself too much in solitude. Work on being physically and emotionally present to others. Though it may take more effort spiritually and emotionally to be part of a group, be sure to find at least a few spiritual friendships to nurture and with whom to create community. Find a small group or talk with Pastor Jenny 33
about creating a small group that brings you into connection with others yet can also let your Soul connection soar. It’s important that you give the gift of yourself to others. Stretch across the circle to the Head quadrant. Head-oriented people can help you discern and think critically and realistically about the practices in which you engage. They can help you stay grounded on your journey.
Hands and Feet Spirituality Type: Your strength is in extending the church into the world, offering the love of Christ to hurting people, and making real change in the lives of people and whole communities. This work is often very difficult, risky, and tiring. Sometimes the change happens very slowly, and it may be hard to see the fruits of your labor. You need the community of faith, your church family, to help you stay focused, hopeful, and energized in your ministry. Seek out people who have made world-changing ministry their life’s work. Some you may know personally. Others you can get to know through their writings or someone else’s writings (or even movies or videos) about them. Connect with a missionary and be inspired. The lives of Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu, Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, and many others might fill you with energy. Explore what you admire most in the people with whom you most resonate. What qualities do they have which you might share? What kinds of things did they do, which God might be calling you do to as well? Allow your outer life of action in the world send you to reflect on your inner life. And allow your inner spiritual life to send you back out into the world. This is very “Methodist”. John Wesley talked about having both a Life of Mercy (outer life) and a Life of Piety (inner life). As you explore both, you will discover that they are not as different as they may seem at first. 34
Be sure to reflect and process the work you do for change in the world. Think critically about and study the causes that stir you most, becoming well-informed as well as knowing through experience. You are going to be most at home in the Missions Ministry at Trinity. If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet engaged in some type of service ministry, now is the time! We have a wide variety and the leaders of that area would be delighted to help you find something that would work for you. You may also feel a desire to invite Trinity into new areas of mission and justice ministry. Use your ability to see the injustice and the problems in our community to stir others in our church to action. You may be so passionate about the work you do in the world that you get frustrated with those who do not share your passion. As you engage with Head and Soul type people in particular, be aware of the gifts that come from each of those types, which also nurture you and have brought you to a place where you can use your Hands and Feet to make a difference. Listen to them and how they connect with God. See if there are ways that you can engage them and share your passion and cause with them, without overpowering them or making them feel guilty. For balance, stretch across the circle to the Heart quadrant. Heart people can help you feel joy and enjoyment, which may elude you as you immerse yourself in the problems of the world. Heart people and Heart-oriented experiences can help bring you down to earth and remind you that God is right here, right now, not just in the future Kingdom for which you strive.
Blessings to you as you journey along the Disciplship Path! If you have any questions, would like to explore the Trinity Discipleship Path more, need help, or want to help others explore the Discipleship Path, please contact Pastor Jenny Smith Walz at 908-
852-3020x13 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 35
213 Main Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840 (908) 852-3020 www.catchthespirit.org 36