What is the Discipleship Course?
The Discipleship Course is an exciting three term course at St Mary's that works through what it means to be a follower of Jesus. On Monday evenings, over the three terms, we aim to deepen our understanding of God as we get to grips with His Word, and to deepen our relationship with Him. Each week people break off into the same small groups, and through this we also aim to deepen our relationships with others at St Mary's.
Click on each term to see the different sessions covered:
Autumn Term: Being God's people today
When God calls us to himself, he calls us to belong to his people. This term we will work through what it looks like to be part of God's people ourselves.
1. Being God's people today
2. Introducing your new family
3. Loving your new family
4. Serving your new family
5. Why should we witness?
6. How should we witness?
7. Being distinctive: Marriage
8. Being distinctive: Money
9. Being distinctive: Work
Spring Term: Philippians: To live is Christ
Philippians is one of the most joyful books in the New Testament! Written to new(ish) Christians, the apostle Paul helps us to get to grips with what a life with Jesus Christ at the centre looks like.
Summer Term: Living life in relationship with God
Living in relationship with the living God is the wonderful privilege of the Christian life. This term, we work through the difference that will make in our lives:
1. A Free Relationship: all a result of God's grace not our efforts
2. A Secure Relationship: how should Christians respond to suffering, opposition, guilt? We need to know the complete security of our relationship with God.
3. An Exclusive Relationship: God is God; he is to have no rivals!
4. A Trusting Relationship: Christians are saved by faith and live by faith
5. A Growing Relationship: The Holy Spirit; who he is
6. A Growing Relationship: The Holy Spirit; how he works in believers
7. A Growing Relationship: The Bible- how to get the most out of God's word to us
8. A Growing Relationship: Prayer; what prayer is, and how we can enjoy praying
9. An Eternal Relationship: what is heaven? What happens when Jesus returns?
Newcomers join the course at the start of any term, and cycle through the three terms from whatever point they begin.
How do the evenings run?
- Day: Monday evenings
- Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
- Venue: St Mary's Church Hall
We begin by eating all together (a cooked meal is provided, we just ask for £20 to cover the costs for the term). As people are finishing their supper there is a talk from the front tackling the topic for the evening. By about 8:20pm, we break off into small groups of about eight people, led by experienced leaders. In these groups there is time for discussion, Bible study and prayer on the same topic.
As with Christianity Explored, there is never any pressure to be involved in any way that would make anyone feel uncomfortable.
Who is the Discipleship Course for?
The course is open to all who would like to come along! But it’s primarily aimed for three groups of people:
- Those who are new to St Mary's. Some people prefer to go straight into a growth group (link to Growth group page). But whilst you're settling into life at St Mary's here's a good chance to get to know some other folk who are new, as well as being refreshed in your own walk as a disciple.
- Those who've recently been along to Christianity Explored. This provides a fantastic next step, for those who want to live as Christians, and for those who still have questions.
- Those who simply want a refresher. The things we'll be tackling together will be heart-warming for any Christian believer, young or old.
How does it compare to being in a Growth Group?
The Discipleship Course is designed as a precursor to being in a growth group. In many ways, the Discipleship Course feels very similar to a growth group. Each week we meet with, study the Bible with, and pray with the same small group of people. The difference is that we meet centrally at St Mary's, and there is food and upfront teaching each time. The aim is that people who have had three terms on the Discipleship Course will be so well rooted in Christ that they will be a real blessing in the growth group they then join.
How can I get involved?
Just get in touch with who runs the course.