WATER WAY: WELCOMING NEW DISCIPLES
|Waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. . . A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way. (Isaiah 35:6 -9)|
WELCOMING NEW DISCIPLES:
FAITH FORMATION FOR NEW & RENEWING BELIEVERS
The Holy Spirit is calling people to come follow Christ for the first time or to be more deeply immersed in baptismal living.
The Water Way follows the spirit of the ancient Christian catechumenate, an apprenticeship in The Way of life lived by followers of Jesus Christ.
The catechumenate is not a set program, but a spiritual process to train disciples, tailored to fit questions and needs of the those whom the Lord sends to us with the resources of the church–scripture, worship, reflection, witness, and service in relationship with others in Christ. There is no set curriculum to buy. There is simply the Spirit and the gifts of the church.
What Is This Way of Discipling?
What Is the Catechumenate? This way of making disciples is an intentional one that invites people into the faith journey and walks with them from where they are to help them become immersed, or more deeply immersed, in the river of life.
To introduce the catechumenal Water Way, see this informational PowerPoint introduction. You will find the notes on the slides helpful as you share this with others in your church.
Attentive to movements of the Spirit, the Water Way progresses through stages of faith’s formation that are like those of any relationship:
- Intense Preparation for Baptism, Affirmation or Reaffirmation of Baptism
- Baptismal Living
The church celebrates and marks passage on this journey with certain rites in worship that signify how important baptismal living is to the Christian faith.
The Water Way is not a set program that runs people through its course like a new members’ class. It realizes and works with how faith is formed–in a way that meanders and plunges like a river across the trajectory of one’s life. Companions along the way serve as guides, though, to help people along faith’s journey toward more faithful living.
Because this way of making disciples is attentive and intentional in the Holy Spirit, the entire church becomes transformed as it lives out Christ’s great commission to make disciples, baptize and teach them how to live in accord with God’s life-giving way in the world.
Interested in Learning More?
Get a copy of the book Go Make Disciples: An Invitation to Baptismal Living. This is an easy-to-read guide helpful for starting this practice of ancient wisdom for today’s church.
Because the catechumenate is not a ready-made program, but a process tailored to fit those the Spirit brings us, the best way to learn about how to do a catechumenate is from other people who are doing it. Get a group of interested people in your church to come to a training event sponsored by the North American Association for the Catechumenate, Portsmouth, Va., September 25-27, 2014.