October has been a season for learning. Part 1 gives insight on the Catalyst Leader Conference and the Wonderfully Made Trainer Training. On the third week of October the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church Center for Congregational Excellence presented a one-day event led by Ken Willard entitled, “Creating a Discipleship Pathway for Your Church.” Ken Willard is an outstanding presenter who points us to become coaches helping people take strides forward in their personal and individual spiritual growth.

Though we were once called the ‘Methodist Movement’, we probably aren’t moving from unbelief to belief in every aspect of our lives. Our job as church leaders is to grow disciples for the transformation of the world by equipping individuals to take next steps, or strides, on their spiritual journey through an intentional process of introducing spiritual practices….soul training!

Ken Willard shared eight particular spiritual practices: Prayer & Fasting, Sabbath, Witness, Sunday School/Small Group, Financial Generosity (Tithing/Giving), Serving, Worship, Scripture Reading. He then shared the three which he believes have the greatest tendency to catapult people forward in their faith formation: Scripture Reading, Serving, Financial Generosity. It’s been my experience these are the three we can be very intentional in teaching our littles.

My favorite take-away was the above image we can use as a tool to engage in conversation with individuals for where they are and what next steps in particular spiritual practices they can intentionally begin or move into. Several groups of people came to mind immediately where I can begin to have these spiritual coaching conversations. I left the training with a plan to engage in these ‘next steps’ conversations with my students aging out of Children’s Ministry with ‘next steps’ in the summer, as well as those finishing any study I’m leading. As people complete a

season of engagement, I can intentionally share with them ‘next steps’ to keep these amazing people moving and making strides in their faith.

Discipleship is not a class. Discipleship Coaching is the secret sauce for continuing to move people through their journey. Today, I and another Kidmin Champion are taking two buses of 3rd-5th grade students to a local Monastery for a Faith Field Trip. We will be teaching and practicing several of the spiritual disciplines which will guide each one to continue to take next steps in their faith formation. I so look forward to the coaching conversations to come.

Highlight: Being in the company of a cloud of witnesses who want to make disciples of Jesus Christ so bad they can taste it.

My next steps:
1. Make an appointment to coach a leader in my local church I already have a Kidmin relationship with.
2. Prepare intentional next steps for 5th graders next summer aging out of Children’s Ministry.
3. Prepare and email next steps for the ladies who shared the Bible study we just completed.

When are you setting aside a season for learning? My next season comes after the New Year: A church-bus full of local church leaders in ministry with children will be heading to Orlando for the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in January.

“Teach the wise, and they will become wiser; inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.” Proverbs 9:9