Leaders Discuss Discipleship

October 27, 2010 in News

“It is a Normal Rockwell painting by day, and a Stephen King novel at night,” was the description Joel Hughes gave the small village on Lake Erie.

“It’s more like Lake Eerie,” said Kyle McCallum, and then smiled at his obtuse humor: “I mean Eerie, not Erie!” Guffaws erupted from Bryan Bassett, Mikey Hudock, and Tom Smith, while someone calling himself “Richie Fresh” chortled, according to one source. Others gazed quizzically at the young quirksters.

The trepidation arose from the ghost town feel of the village, with stray cats wandering empty streets. The Chautauqua is a gated community with scores of vacation homes owned by Christians and others “nurturing mind, body and spirit,” the Web site claims, but nobody will enjoy its “sustaining values and traditions” until it reopens next Spring. NeoXenos was the last group to inhabit the small village, amidst stares of incredulity from Chautauqua lingerers.

Residents never before saw such energetic young Christians...

More than 50 leaders gathered at the Deacon Ministry Team (DMT) retreat this year, a record for NeoXenos. Greg Morscher kicked off the retreat with a teaching on the courage required to resist the materialism and complacency endemic in American culture, using Revolution in World Missions (see the NeoZine book review). In the upcoming year we must launch scholarships, Greg said, to help student leaders financially struggling through college, as well as paying for student interns in this growing ministry. Kyle McCallum is currently working as an intern 15 hours a week on NeoXenos Webs, videos, publications, Podcasts and receiving advanced training in the LTC Teacher Seminar, but our leadership development fund which supports this effort will soon dry up.

Leaders spent Saturday planning for their ministries and considering issues surrounding discipleship:

  • How would you define discipleship?
  • What works?
  • What doesn’t work?
  • What about selection?
  • What education do we need?

Keith McCallum gave a teaching from his new book on Ephesians where he demonstrated God is gathering a “household” of “outlaws” to revolutionize the world with Love Ethics. The foundation of all this work is discipleship, Keith pointed out, not church-planting. This point was made clear by Christ Jesus in the “Great Commission”, where He emphasized making disciples. Church-planting is a product of good discipleship when Christians are raised up who understand “all I have taught you,” as Jesus told the disciples.

Tom introduces statistics never before seen...

Presentations were given by our six home groups on their current progress and efforts to close the “discipleship gap” — the distance between our phenomenal conversion growth and our discipleship growth. Most of the home groups were struggling to grow this year, which was not true at previous DMT retreats. The college ministry is continuing to grow, but cannot split without more leaders. The high school groups, which split earlier, are experiencing some diminishing growth, and all the adult groups are struggling. It was evident that some of our groups need to reorganize so we can work more effectively together, as a Body of Christ. Isolation is a real and present danger in NeoXenos, and several ways were discussed to enhance mutual support.

A JHQ ministry leader is baffled...

More will be announced at a fellowship Body Meeting on Sunday, November 21. In the meanwhile, leadership teams are going back to their ministries to consider new options and implement the plans discussed on the DMT retreat.

1 response to Leaders Discuss Discipleship

  1. It was a good time to go to “The Chautauqua” – not many were there to judge us from the outside.

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