Reclaiming the Catechumenate as a Ministry of Welcome
The Catechumenate: Making Disciples for a 21st Century Church
A Community of DisciplesThe Missional Congregation understands that it is primarily a missional community of people being trained and equipped to live among the world as disciples of Jesus. Its purpose is to carry out Gods gospel mission of the healing and redemption of the world.3Cultural ChallengesFrom 1990 to 2010, those who identified themselves as Christian dropped from 86% to 69%. At present rate of change, most Americans will be non-Christians by the year 2035.While 50% over 45 attend church, only 30% of those under 45 attend.Just 1/3rd of adults in their 20s and 30s claim to be committed Christians.Yet 80% of them claim that religion or spirituality is important in their life.
Making Disciples*1. Enlist new followers into Gods Kingdom.2. Train them how to live the Christian life.3. Equip them and deploy them into service.
*Larry Osborne. Sticky Church.
Designing Congregations for a New Century of MissionPost-Christendom Model (Return to ACTS) which is a MISSIONAL modelFocus is on DISCIPLESHIP (mission of the gospel--Matthew 28) not MEMBERSHIP (maintenance of the institution)7Building Up DisciplesOld Paradigm: Creating better members for the church-- to serve the needs of the institution. New Paradigm: Empowering members for ministry in daily life. Focused ministries based on strengths and gifts of the members. (Asset-based ministry.)
8 The discipleship model expects the Christian community--through Word and Sacrament-- to transform lives.
--Michael Fossfrom Power Surge9Tent City and the Story of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church
Table Reflection Questions1. Do you think Phinney Ridge was living out its vocational calling of being disciples of Jesus?2. How were individuals transformed by the congregations emphasis on adult faith formation and baptismal living?3. What evidence can you point to that the larger community was also transformed?An Apprenticeship Model for For Forming Christian DisciplesAn Ancient Rite of Church: Preparation for Baptism Spiritual Formation for Adults Baptism/Affirmation of BaptismMeans of making disciples with focus on baptismal livingRenewal of Priesthood of All Believers (Martin Luther)
12Early Church: Preparing for BaptismA period of discipling new converts in the way of the faith leading up to baptism.Included entire households. (Book of Acts)In the first centuries baptism was usually by immersion to symbolize dying and rising with Christ.
14Ritual Bath at Qumran Community
15Jesus Baptismal Site in Jordan
16Floor Plan for 4th Century Church
18Short History of the CatechumenateFirst 1000+ years: Preparation for Baptism (kicked into high gear after 330 AD)Middle Ages: Church mislaid the ancient catechumenate process as it was assumed most adults were already baptized. Later replaced with confirmation of young adults.Modern Day: Vatican II reclaimed the process in the 60s and Protestants in the 90s expanded it to include affirmation of faith. 19The Role of the Catechumenate1. Rather than simply another program it becomes a central tool to carry out the mission of making disciples.2. A primary means of entry for new Christians and new members into the faith community including affirmers.3. Rites and rituals that highlight the importance of discipleship in daily life.201. Come and See: Inquiry (Questions) Rite of Welcome2. Come and Explore: Exploration/CatechesisRite of Enrollment3. Come and Prepare: Getting ReadyRite of Baptism/Affirmation of Baptism4. Come and Serve: Baptismal LivingRite of Affirmation of VocationA Journey of Discipleship: 4 Stages21Congregational Guideavailable fromAugsburg Fortress
Also CD-ROM withdownloadableresources
The Triduum: The Great 3 DaysMaundy ThursdayWashing of FeetGood FridayFocus on the PassionHoly Saturday The Easter Vigil Baptisms and Affirmation of Baptism
23A program demanding more time of already over-extended clergy and parish leaders.A complicated, time-consuming program.Another adult education program.An expensive program demanding experts in Scripture or Christian doctrine.An inflexible, prescribed program of study.What the Catechumenate Is Not:24A journey and celebration for those called to the Way of Christ.A natural process of Christian formation developed in early days of the Church that can be adapted to fit any size congregation.Leaven for any faith community seeking new members and renewal of current members.Jesus way of making & nurturing disciples.What the Catechumenate Is:25An Invitation to Baptismal LivingPURPOSE: Welcoming people into a deeper relationship with Jesus and with each other so they can live faithful lives of discipleship in Gods world.
26Disciple MakingGods Mission: To heal and bless a troubled world.The Churchs Task: Create disciples of Jesus who live differently and who make a difference in their [email protected]
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