Discipleship Apprenticeship Process
Q & A
- What is the purpose of the Discipleship Apprenticeship Process? The Discipleship Apprenticeship Process calls, forms, and send intentional disciples. This process unfolds through small group and one-on-one meetings to apprentice participants in the heart and habits of Catholic discipleship.
- What is the goal of the Discipleship Apprenticeship Process? Parish leaders are asked to embrace the vision that the parish exists to “make disciples.” With that in mind, the goal of this process is to build common definitions around discipleship terms, develop common language and establish a foundation for future development and growth of our community.
- How do the small groups work? Each small group is comprised of a council, commission or committee of the parish. Each group dedicates the first 20 minutes of their monthly meeting to prayer and reflection around an aspect of discipleship. The focus of this time is on being converted and conformed to Christ and learning and practicing the heart and habits of discipleship
- How do the “One-on-One” Meetings work? Throughout the apprenticeship process, the disciple meets one-on-one with a trained mentor once a month. Completely confidential, these informal meetings are directed toward growing in spiritual friendship and supporting, encouraging and challenging one another in the habits of discipleship. Together, you identify areas of growth, identify alternatives, and discuss desired outcomes then work on next steps. Regular reflection on your own growth in discipleship helps keep you motivated and energized throughout the apprenticeship period.
- What resources will be utilized for this process? Disciple apprenticeship takes place through personal apprenticeship, training sessions on vision and skills, and various handouts. A variety of resources are already available through our website and additional resources will be developed in the future.
- Do the groups practice group acts of mercy, service, and justice? Absolutely yea! Seeking the lost and serving the “least” of the sisters and brothers is a critical and essential element of disciple-making. We encourage service to be integrated into each group’s schedule from the beginning!
- Will participants share their faith stories and, if so, how? Apprenticeship participants will bring all kinds of curiosity about, readiness for, and commitment to Christ and discipleship. Facilitators and mentors are trained to attend to the various conversion thresholds and respond to each participant accordingly. This is especially important in the practice of one-on-one mentoring. Mentors take great care to avoid any sense of discipleship hierarchy or spiritual elitism and, instead, reinforce discipleship as an inclusive journey for all.
- Once the process is “done,” what will discipleship look like for the individual? The Holy Spirit does all the work, but the hope is that the person has a heart on fire for Jesus and his Church, and has begun to practice the habits of community, prayer, scripture, sacraments, and service. Our hope would also be that the person is actively discerning specific next steps for growth in discipleship.
- What will be the ongoing community-building and ongoing accountability after this first year? Next summer, when all the groups have completed the first 10 sessions, a large-group gathering will be planned to collectively discern how to help the entire community grow in discipleship.