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What is 21st Century Discipleship?

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP is a word event, a proclamation, an emerging spiritual explosion, and a process which demands response and action. It is a continual challenge to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church to be faithful to the “Great Commission” of our Lord, Jesus the Christ who said, “Go and make disciples…and teach them…[what I have taught you]…” (Matthew 28:19-20).

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP is an invitation and a process for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. It is designed to empower the whole Church to turn away from all that has stood in the way of its total commitment to Christ. The process requires commitment to a comprehensive program of training for all congregations of the CME church which includes lay and clergy, children, youth and young adults. The process takes seriously the contemporary mission and ministry of this predominantly African American denomination in the midst of a society that is plagued with vestiges of blatant and overt racism, as well as economic oppression and systemic racism. Christian churches and denominations that fail to disciple God’s people will fail their generation for the kingdom of God.

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP sounds a loud affirmation of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s unswerving commitment to the Great Commission of Christ, who we acknowledge as Head of the Church, to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20). At the same time, we rejoice in the assurance of the promise which is part of this passage, “…And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the waters …”--~Genesis 1:1-2

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP represents the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s new paradigm for actualizing God’s call and claim upon God’s church to renew its commitment to the “Great Commission” of Christ.

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP affirms the existential reality of Jesus’ call to follow him, and it acknowledges that when he calls, he is not looking for occasional use of our gifts. He wants our lives (Sine 22).

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP believes that we are called to recognize that God is and that God reaches out in love through Jesus Christ to bring us back to our Creator.

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP contends that “Once we turn to God we must, like the prodigal son, also turn away from the past. We must, in repentance, turn away from all that was destroying us, our lives, and relationships, and through the One who died in our stead find new beginnings and forgiveness of our sins.”

21ST CENTURY DISCIPLESHIP lays out six progressive paths as a process of Discipleship Empowerment for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The discipleship process is designed to engage ministers and laypersons of every age in the process of forming Christian Disciples around the teachings of Jesus. We are confident that the church must take seriously its responsibility to empower persons for growth in the Christian Faith. All who give their lives to Christ and His Church should come to know that personal commitment to Christ requires preparation and lifelong training.