Discipleship 101

Building a bridge of trust

In 2018, FAITH continues to offer the column, Discipleship 101, based on Sherry Weddell’s books, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (2012) and Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World (2017). Sherry is a leading voice in the Catholic world in the field of forming missionary disciples – engaged Catholics who strive to grow as disciples of Jesus and go evangelize, sharing the Gospel with others.

Seeing through the eyes of ‘outsiders’

Inside and outside

It is important for those who are committed Catholics – especially those who have never known anything else – to remember that a threshold [or stage of conversion] usually looks and feels very different to “insiders” than it does to someone approaching from the outside. As evangelizers, we need to make a real effort to imagine; to see Christ, the faith, and the Church through the eyes of outsiders. The same threshold can seem overwhelming and insurmountable to them while looking very simple and obvious to us.

The 5 thresholds of conversion

In the mid-1990s, a campus minister named Doug Schaupp was struggling with how to awaken faith in students. He and his ministry team at UCLA realized that “students weren’t responding in the same ways they had before. Sharing the truth of Jesus’ Gospel no longer moved people. Our evangelistic labors resonated less, and had less fruit.” 1

During the 1997-1998 school year, 37 students went through conversion experiences. Schaupp’s team responded by doing something unusual. They asked these students to describe their spiritual journeys.

It's all about relationship

FAITH offers a new column, Discipleship 101, based on Sherry Weddell’s books, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (2012) and Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World (2017). Sherry is a leading voice in the Catholic world in the field of forming missionary disciples – engaged Catholics who strive to grow as disciples of Jesus and go evangelize, sharing the Gospel with others.

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