Saturday, April 28, 2007

Purpose Driven Presbyterians – Report 3

Today’s post is designed for those who are not familiar with the Purpose Driven ministry concept.

Purpose Driven ministry is based on the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. The five main areas in Purpose Driven ministry are: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry and Mission/Evangelism. The order in which these are experienced in most people are:

  1. Worship: This is where most people first experience a congregation. Typically, most people decide whether to return to a church for a second visit before worship begins. What happens during worship will help determine if they come back more than one more time.
  2. Fellowship: This is where people make relationships that connect with people. Fellowship does not happen after church during the coffee time. Fellowship happens in small groups (often called Life Groups). Developing close friendships is vitally important in assimilating a new person into the life of the congregation. Studies have shown that a person will leave a new church if they have not developed close friendships in their new church.
  3. Discipleship: Discipleship is where our lives are transformed as we become more like Christ. This process takes commitment, hard work and the moving of the Holy Spirit. There are four seminars in the Purpose Driven model that provide the backbone of the discipleship process and numerous classes that put the meat on the bones of discipleship. In my mind, this is the strength of the Purpose Driven model.
  4. Ministry: This is where people move into the ministry of the local church. Too often our churches fill ministry positions with anyone with a pulse. The eventual goal of the Purpose Driven model is to have people make significant strides toward discipleship before moving them into ministry.
  5. Mission/Evangelism: This is where people are trained to reach the lost and minister to the poor and needy. All groups are encouraged to be involved in mission projects.

The bones of the Purpose Driven ministry model are the Christian Life and Leadership Seminars (C.L.A.S.S. - for short). The seminars are:

    • C.L.A.S.S. 101 – Discovering Church Membership: This three hour seminar is designed to introduce a person to the local church (history, core values and biblical beliefs, expectations of what the person can expect of the church and that the church has of its members), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Purpose Driven ministry. Everyone desiring to become a member of the church must go through 101.
    • C.L.A.S.S. 201 – Discover Spiritual Maturity: This six hour seminar (two sessions that are a week apart) introduces a person to Bible Study, prayer, daily devotions and the spiritual disciplines necessary for spiritual growth.
    • C.L.A.S.S. 301 – Discovering My Ministry: This three hour seminar helps a person discern their natural talents, spiritual gifts and passions for ministry. Persons work with a leader to find a ministry area with in the church.
    • C.L.A.S.S. 401 – Discovering Mission and Evangelism: This seminar helps a person learn to share their faith. Most Presbyterians have a difficult time sharing their faith and leading a person to Christ. This seminar will give them the tools for evangelism. The seminar also focuses on mission to the poor and needy (locally and globally).

There are many individual classes to help a person in their discipleship process. These classes are open to everyone (you do not have to have completed any of the seminars). Evergreen Presbyterian Church will end up having around 15 classes –ranging from Interpreting the Bible Faithfully to Contemporary Issues to Spiritual Disciplines to Church History to Becoming a Contagious Christian.

The Purpose Driven model provides an excellent framework for creating disciples of Jesus Christ.


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