“Go and Make Disciples” Hispanic Ministry Answers the Call
By: Sherri Gragg - En Español
The Rev. Arturo Cadar, Coordinator of Mission Field Development, and a leadership team of clergy and lay leaders, have developed an in-depth discipleship development program for Hispanic UMC congregations. The intensive program, “The Disciple Making Movement” seeks to fulfill Christ’s command to make disciples through a return to Wesleyan discipleship methodology. “For a long time, we haven’t done discipleship the way Wesley did discipleship,” Cadar said, “Modern methods are far more resource centered than relational. There is a lot more to making disciples than just studying a book.”
In addition to Cadar, the leadership team includes four pastors and two lay leaders:
- The Rev. Dayimi Pimentel
- The Rev. Franklyn Rodriguez
- The Rev. Reinier de la Torre
- The Rev. Cesar Martinez
- Bea Garza, laity
- John Esquivel, Conference Lay Leader
Discipleship as Relationship
The Disciple Making Movement is designed to thoroughly develop spiritual maturity in laity through an intentional and relational process. New disciples will work alongside a “teacher or coach” with the goal of eventually replicating the discipleship journey with others. As an experiential process, the disciples will not only sit under the teaching of their leaders, they will serve alongside them, pray with them, and worship with them in small “home church” settings. Cadar believes that the church has depended too heavily on pastors to make disciples, and that if the church is going to grow, it will take the active ministry of lay leaders to do the work.
“The Disciple Making Movement initiative that we are working on seeks to mobilize people to a passionate and committed way of living out their Christianity,” said The Rev. Dayimi Pimentel, Associate Pastor of El Mesías UMC, “The Lord is giving us an opportunity to design, develop and deploy this project and we will continue to work on it, together, to expand God’s Kingdom in our churches and our communities.”
A Long-Term Approach
The discipleship plan guides participants through a “Lifeline Disciple Making Map,” beginning with his or her profession of faith, and then walking alongside him or her through the growth stages of faith until the he or she is ready to disciple someone else. The process is designed as a t framework for a new way of fostering spiritual depth in the Body of Christ for the long-term.
Cadar is quick to assert that although the team has prepared a thoughtful and thorough program with clearly established goals, there is still a great deal of work ahead of them. In preparation for a soft launch of the program this fall, followed by a full launch next year, the leadership team will begin to practice the program themselves. “We will develop small groups, attend class meetings, worship together, and practice developing relationships,” Cadar said.
The Rev. Reinier de la Torre, Vida UMC Houston, reflects the strong conviction and passion that has fueled the program’s development. “If making disciples is the mission of the church, then it needs to be more than just a program, or a strategy. It needs to be a growing, on-going movement of believers who, under the guidance of a teacher, become disciples who will later look for other believers to disciple.”
For more information, please contact the Rev. Arturo Cadar firstname.lastname@example.org