The Disciple’s Map was created to help you find your way to purpose, joy, and contentment by following Jesus. The steps forward are called Spiritual Disciplines that strengthen your habits and skills as a disciple. No matter where you are in your faith journey, the next step is here at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park.
Let’s get started.
Continue on your path.
Let’s see what lies ahead.
Worshipping God is a community thing. The “People of God” (that’s everyone, by the way) come together as travelers and say to God, “WOW!” (praise) and “Help!” (confession) and “Thanks!” (gratitude). We also listen through prayer. There is no wrong way to do this - listening, talking, moving. What’s most important is the regularity of it. Mindfulness of God is a gift.
Grow in worship and prayer at FUMCWP
We were created to worship. There are lots of things we worship (our vanity, kids, schedules, sports’ teams). When we worship God, we get clear directions and energy for the journey. When we do more than show up - when we worship with our whole heart, mind, body and soul - we experience God’s grace. As we grow our prayer life, we begin to sense the Holy Spirit working in our gut - that prompting we can’t explain.
Get in touch with the “guts of grace” by taking a step to deepen your worship/prayer experience
There are times in life when we are on a mountain top, connecting with God in worship and prayer continually throughout the day. Is this your location currently? Why or why not? God gifts us to uniquely experience worship and prayer. At this point in the journey, you might be ready to share those gifts with others and/or the church.
Life is more fun together. Jesus showed us that. He spent a lot of time at parties, weddings, and crowds with families and friends. When folks got together amazing things happened. It’s likely you are connected with people from work, neighborhood, school, or hobbies. Building relationships with disciples is similar, but can also provide accountability, forgiveness, and trust.
Do more than “get by with a little help from friends” — move into the community of Christ
Church provides opportunities to meet people and do awesome things together (ministry). When we show up, we can meet others who are like us and very different from us. This variety is the Kingdom of God, which we can only see in community.
The longer we travel the road of faith, the more diverse groups of people we meet. This diversity helps us appreciate the common destination to follow Jesus.
Want your relationships to feel more intimate and full of goodness? Connect
What’s next for you? Are you in a regular small group or serving experience? If so, you are growing and guiding others on the journey. Have you had the same leaders for a while? Perhaps it is time to share leadership, join or start a new group, or change direction...don’t worry. God will inspire you. At this stage in the journey, you might be more hungry for knowledge, more thirsty for a deeper relationship with God. With that desire comes the gift of the Holy Spirit. When believers come together and experience the presence of God, the Holy Spirit gives us energy to continue the journey, regardless of the terrain.
Curious? What’s next for you
I am third (God, others, me). Me? Bronze? Trust us - third place gives Christians the most joy, security, and contentment imaginable. Peace - Whether it’s your hard earned money (that is God’s amazing gift) or how you spend a Saturday. Volunteering is a choice. "Servants" is who we are. When we put others’ needs before our own, our power to love and be loved multiplies. In the immortal words of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Give it away now” (time, money or both!).
God has a big idea to change the world (think healing, helping, hoping). God’s best tools to fix up the place are you and me. When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” He meant that we believers light up the room – any board room, ball field, twitter feed, class room, mountain top, valley or destination we find ourselves.
At this point in your faith journey, you understand what it means to give. Maybe the next step for you isto financially give regularly and work toward the tithe. This is one of those critical disciplines that puts your house in order by giving your first and best to God and the community that sustains you through Him. Here’s how:
A life of serving through and with the church requires intentional direction. Setting your compass on following Jesus helps you not lose your way. Christians are called not just to serve the poor, but to know the poor; to lead and to show others the way.
As a regular giver, you have navigated your finances by putting first things first. At this point, if the 10% tithe is in sight, you are already there and considering additional ways to give. Many Christians commit to their church and give to other passionate projects beyond the tithe. Living in this abundant "sweet spot" leads to lasting joy!
You might be wondering...“ What’s my story got to do with God’s story?” Well, ...everything! Reading scripture is like taking vitamins. A daily dose is best and the more you read it, the greater an impact on your life it will have.
If you goit alone, remember the three R’s:
Need help? Ask a pastor - or a friend - to read with you. Better yet, grab a group! There are plenty.
It is time to get familiar with the Bible. This includes the who what where when how — and most important WHY - of the Word. John 1:1 explains that the Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood (The Message). God has used the power of the written word (and other expressions from the burning bush to space exploration) to reach us. All the promises, hopes and dreams from the first testament of the Bible are realized in the man from Galilee whose life, death and resurrection summed up all that God is about and all that God offers us: love. The more you learn about God's story, people will notice. When they do, don't be afraid to tell them why.
Drop into explore scripture
Old story, new message. Our story is our identity. Knowing, reflecting on, and sharing our story along the way helps us to remember who and whose we are. You’ve committed to being a disciple of Jesus in word and deed. It’s time to go even deeper. Do you need a refresher? ...a recap of a particular chapter of our salvation story? ...or perhaps a view through a new lens (historical, literary, lectio divina)? In all things, let his teachings be in our hearts, on our minds, and guiding our every step. Dive in