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From Membership to Discipleship: An Introduction to the Catechumenate.

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Presentation on theme: "From Membership to Discipleship: An Introduction to the Catechumenate."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Membership to Discipleship: An Introduction to the Catechumenate

2 Overall Goal “To present a vision for the catechumenal process as both a rite of Christian initiation (faith formation for adults) and a means of forming disciples for baptismal living.”

3 What is a Missional Church? The 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. It’s purpose is to carry out God’s gospel mission of the healing and redemption of the world.

4 Building Up Disciples Old 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.

5 “The discipleship model expects the Christian community--through Word and Sacrament-- to transform lives.” --Michael Foss from Power Surge

6 Reclaiming the Catechumenate For Forming Christian Disciples An Ancient Rite of Church: Preparation for Baptism Spiritual Formation for Adults Baptism/Affirmation of Baptism Means of “making disciples” with focus on baptismal living Renewal of “Priesthood of All Believers” (Martin Luther)

7 Early Church: Preparing for Baptism 1.A period of discipling new converts in the “way of the faith” leading up to baptism. 2.Included entire households. (Book of Acts) 3.In the first centuries baptism was usually by immersion to symbolize dying and rising with Christ.

8 l

9 Ritual Bath at Qumran Community

10 Jesus’ Baptismal Site in Jordan

11 Floor Plan for 4 th Century Church


13 Short History of the Catechumenate First 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 60’s and Protestants in the 90’s expanded it to include affirmation of faith.

14 The Role of the Catechumenate 1. 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.

15 1. Come and See: Inquiry (Questions) Rite of Welcome 2. Come and Explore: Exploration/Catechesis Rite of Enrollment 3. Come and Prepare: Getting Ready Rite of Baptism/Affirmation of Baptism 4. Come and Serve: Baptismal Living Rite of Affirmation of Vocation A Journey of Discipleship: 4 Stages

16 One: Inquiry Stage Usually occurs toward end of Pentecost season and during Epiphany (Sept. thru January). Can provide several entry points—with different inquiry small groups starting at different times during this period. The participants set the agenda—and their questions will help shape the “curriculum” for the next stage (Exploration and Formation). If candidates and affirmers decide to go forward, they are assigned a sponsor.

17 Two: Exploration and Formation Lay catechists provide some basic input on the basics of faith, prayer, and Bible. Small groups introduced to Reflective Bible Study Method (e.g. Lectio Devina) Sponsors are companions on the journey to accompany their candidate or affirmer. Toward end of this stage, decision made to participate in the “Rite of Enrollment”.

18 Three: Intense Preparation Scripture reflection on three John texts during the Lenten season: John 4, 9, 11 Discuss the service of Baptism/Affirmation of Baptism and review e Baptismal promises. Prepare for Vigil.

19 The Triduum: The Great 3 Days Maundy Thursday—Washing of Feet Good Friday—Focus on the Passion Holy Saturday— The Easter Vigil Baptisms and Affirmation of Baptism

20 Four: Baptismal Living a.Explore one’s gifts and passion b.Introduction to congregation’s ministry c.Discern where God is leading one to serve and live out one’s baptismal faith Rite of Affirmation of Vocation (usually on Pentecost Sunday)

21 A Call to Be and Make Disciples “Go into all the world and be my witnesses…” WORD (taken) FONT (blessed) TABLE (broken) MISSION (given) “And I am with you always!”

22 Daily Remember Your Baptism “To Die and Rise with Christ” (Romans 8)


24 Questions for Reflection: 1. What is God doing here already at home, at work, in my neighborhood, and in the world? 2. What is my vision or goal of how I want life to be—and what am I going to do to be part of God’s mission? 3. What will I do to carry out this mission and when do I start? Consider one action. 4. Who will partner with me in this work?


26 A 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:

27 A 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:

28 Our Baptismal Calling: To Work for Peace and Justice

29 An Invitation to Baptismal Living PURPOSE: Welcoming people into a deeper relationship with Jesus and with each other so they can live faithful lives of discipleship in God’s world.

30 1. Coordinator of Discipleship Process: Help with design, training, and publicity. 2. Pastors: Help recruit, assist w/ inquiry, and lead the rites for public worship. 3. Catechists: Instructors for the journey. 4. Candidates: Learners for the journey. 5. Sponsors/Mentors: Companions on journey. 6. Host/Hostess: Provide refreshments. Your “Faith Walk” Team

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