One of the benefits of being in a connectional church is the resourcing and support that goes with it. That is, there are thousands of churches like Berkeley across the country and the world with people trying to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Discipleship Ministries is the new name of what formerly was called the General Board of Discipleship. Their mission is explicitly as follows.
[to provide] leadership and resources in the areas of spiritual growth and development, devotional literature, curriculum resources, Christian education, evangelism, worship, stewardship, and ministry of the laity. Discipleship Ministries oversees The Upper Room.
The most popular aspect of Discipleship Ministries is the Upper Room, which produces a number of Spirituality resources for individuals around the world. The Upper Room daily devotional is translated into 33 languages around the world. As well, people from around the world are able to submit devotionals.
The Upper Room also coordinates Walk to Emmaus gatherings around the country, which many members of Berkeley have been involved in in the past. Here is how they describe the event.
The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers.
The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with the prayerful discernment and invitation from a sponsor. After one accepts this invitation they complete an application. The Emmaus leaders prayerfully consider each applicant and in God’s time, the person is invited to attend a three-day experience of New Testament Christianity as a lifestyle.
Following the three-day experience, participants are joined in small groups to support each other in their ongoing walk with Christ.
Through the formational process of accountable discipleship in small groups and participation in the Emmaus community, each participant’s individual gifts and servant-leadership skills are developed for use in the local church and its mission. Participants are encouraged to find ways to live out their individual call to discipleship in their home, church, and community.
The objective of Emmaus is to inspire, challenge, and equip the local church members for Christian action in their homes, churches, communities and places of work. Emmaus lifts up a way for our grace-filled lives to be lived and shared with others.
Discipleship Ministries also resources pastors and church leaders on worship preparation and many resources for worship. This helps with planning songs, seasons, even worship series. Resources for New Church development is also provided by Discipleship Ministries. That means that churches like Berkeley can use the same tools that church plants are using to try and reach the unchurched in our community.
Discipleship Ministries is supported by our apportionment dollars. Without their ministry and support, the church would be quite adrift.