Growing the Body: Saint Andrew Introduces Discipleship Strategy
On Wednesday, May 9, more than 40 people gathered in the Saint Andrew Catholic School gymnasium to talk about the parish’s discipleship strategy—an approach to developing a stronger and more unified “core” of disciples to lead the parish’s ministries, formation, and outreach and evangelization efforts moving forward.
The evening opened with prayer and an overview from Fr. Mark, outlining the purpose for the meeting: We are all called, like our patron St. Andrew, to drop our nets, leave our boats, and follow Jesus; to draw others to Him, as Andrew did for his brother, Simon Peter; and to pour ourselves out entirely in love for Jesus and the church.
Following Father’s introduction, Jim Thorp offered a talk on discipleship in the context of Fr. Mark’s vision for the parish, “Building the Kingdom of God Here and Now Through the Witnessing of a Lived Faith.” He explained the path that many people take from unbelief to belief, and discussed a program from growing in discipleship, both for ourselves and for those we would like to lead closer to Christ to become disciples.
Jim then introduced Mark and Lily Kreitinger, who offered a short introduction and mini-witness as to how they strive to continue growing and sharing their faith. They were followed by Randy Bayerl, who facilitated small-group discussions about the overall strategy to grow the core group of disciples at Saint Andrew. Randy and Father then took comments from the groups before closing in prayer.
The conversations at the tables were robust and realistic. The comments afterward centered on the importance of prayer and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. People were enthusiastic about focusing first on the core before trying to grow ministries beyond the capacity of current leaders and volunteers, but also recognized the challenges of recruiting and welcoming new people into existing groups and ministries, including fear, pride and the reality that sometimes it’s just easier to do things ourselves than to try to hand it off.
The goal, according to Father, is for these conversations to continue through the summer and fall. As different ministries and leaders learn more about one another, we hope that we begin to better work together—feeding each other, helping each other, pulling in the same direction, always with eternity with God in heaven as our ultimate goal for as many souls as possible.
If you were unable to attend this meeting or would like to learn more: