Reflecting on the Disciple’s Way

It has been quite a journey since I started the Disciple’s Way discipleship course on January 11th with a showing of Emilio Estevez’ film ‘The Way’. Over the seven sessions the average attendance has been 58, with ages ranging from 17 – 90. Other statistics make for interesting reading too:

  • 6 games
  • 8 postcards written to the Apostle Paul
  • 14  film clips
  • 27 crowdsourced contributions on prayer (available here)
  • 17  carefully selected musical items, from the Military Wives Choir to In Paradisum via Alanis Morissette
  • 36 bible passages
  • 139  powerpoint slides
  • 70 scallop shells
  • 6 homework tasks

The statistics, of course, are not the real story. The real story is about people engaging with their faith with both sides of the brain and all of their heart. This is why the most exciting elements of the course have been those produced by the participants themselves. Consider, for example, these descriptions of the Disciple’s Way, inspired by tourist brochures about the Camino de Santiago:

“using the souls of your feet to save your soul”

“we don’t dream of being a disciple, we train for it”

When we considered ‘the rules of the way’, and the dangers of temptation, groups wrote their own version of the Countryside Code, as the ‘Disciple’s Code’.

“Talk to God, but above all listen”

“Take a torch (read your Bible)”

At our final session this week, we thought about the need to maintain our momentum in the Christian life, and talked about ‘crossing the line’ when we die. Participants looked at how some Biblical characters did just that, and went home with an aide-memoire from dyingmatters.org about the need to plan for that moment. The session had its lighter moments, though, as you can see from these postcard messages written to the Apostle Paul in prison to keep him going:

“keep calm, its a marathon, not a sprint.”

“we are honouring you by sending our love and encouragement – ps: there’s a file in the cake”

The last word is on pace, and goes to a participant who said that all her life she had sought to follow the Lord at walking pace, and was glad to hear someone say that it was ok to do so.

Plans are afoot to publish the course as a resource for other churches – watch this space.

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