As a ministry we make every effort to align our goals and decisions to what truly encompasses the DNA of the Discipleship Walk. We feel these 5 areas are at the core of why the Discipleship Walk ministry is still impacting lives after 30 years. These core values provide focus on what is important to this ministry and to reflect on how God is working in the lives of so many people through the Discipleship Walk.
One of the core values of Discipleship Walk is Anonymous Servanthood. We believe that the team experience aspect of the walk provides the opportunity for team members to practically apply principles of discipleship which begins with a surrender of our rights, our agendas, our plans, and expectations to God. This is anonymous servanthood in its purest form.
Learning to serve anonymously is an important part of both leadership development and the spiritual growth process – this is service that gives honor to God and not the person serving. Serving quietly and without recognition may be very difficult for some – especially those who are used to being in the limelight. However, it helps us mature spiritually, becoming more like Jesus himself. Our goal as a team is to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in which no position is more important than any other. Our actions should put others first and free the new disciples to focus on the Lord.
Basically we are asking people to serve the Lord and not for what they personally may get out of the experience. When we do that we free God to use us however He wishes. Our goal is that team members will learn this principle and integrate it into their daily lives.
One of the five core values of the Discipleship Walk is Accountability. Accountability is being open and accountable to another for our choices, attitude, actions and walk with the Lord. Being accountable to someone will help us follow through with good choices when our best intentions fail us. Accountability is meeting with a group of 2-4 same sex people for the purpose of continuing the knowledge they gained through the twelve talks on the walk. Starting groups may well have a more basic starting point and a more basic level of sharing – using the DW grouping card. As time goes on our hope is for the members of the group to give each other permission to speak truth into each of their lives along with encouraging, praying and living life through the good and difficult times. Our goal is that team members and new disciples will learn this principle and integrate it into their daily lives.
One of the core values of the Discipleship Walk is leadership development. After an individual has attended a walk as a new disciple he or she has the opportunity to come back and participate on a team. It is within this second tier of Discipleship Walk participation that leadership development takes place. It is the team experience which offers the training to encourage and develop leaders for the church. Leadership development in a spiritual sense, as opposed to in the secular world, is developing servant leaders who learn to depend on God's leading.
Our goal is to develop leaders who are confident in their relationship with the Lord, who prayerfully seek God's direction in all decisions made, and who are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We desire to develop leaders who are servants first and lead by example. A spiritual leader understands that the process is more important than the outcome – people are always more important than the task. The process of spiritual growth within the walk encourages people to do their best while leaving room for them to fail. Leaders are encouraged to intentionally bring out the best in their team members. Our goal is that team members will learn leadership principles and integrate them into their daily lives.
Another of the core values of the Discipleship Walk centers around relationships. We believe that in a culture which is becoming exceedingly impersonal with email, text messages, and the rise of social media, there is a real need to encourage people to connect on a personal and deeper level. Our goal is to create a community among the team during team formation as well as between team and new disciples on the weekend. We want to not only provide the margin and freedom from distractions to help disciples focus on their relationship with God, we want to encourage them to build relationships with others. We believe those connections are vital in helping disciples live out their Christian walk. As a result, we hope all will experience the body of Christ in action.
The tone of the entire weekend is to provide the structure and framework within which the Holy Spirit can move in people's lives. Therefore, our focus is always on people over task. We want to encourage and support team and disciples to achieve God's purpose for their lives. We support individuals to be stretched to accomplish tasks that they may not feel capable of completing on their own.
The goal is not to execute a perfect weekend, but one which allows the Holy Spirit to move and fosters growth through relational building in all participants.
The primary focus of the tables is to build relationships. We believe that in the context of a safe, confidential, supportive community disciples have the opportunity to access deep hurts and needs which can be brought to the light and healed.
Another core value of the Discipleship Walk is spiritual growth. It is the continual process of allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us daily. We believe the Discipleship Walk provides the opportunity for team members as well as new disciples to experience spiritual growth. During the weekend team members and disciples will be challenged to identify the spiritual disciplines and see how these can be developed and integrated into their daily lives.
Prayer and dependence on the Lord is the foundation of the Discipleship Walk. We challenge team members to rely on prayer and to seek God's will for the weekend. Those individuals who are asked to serve on a team are asked to prayerfully considering serving – seeking God's direction not relying on their own thoughts and desires. We ask that they be willing to serve wherever needed, not placing any limitations on positions in which they will or will not be willing to serve. Often being challenged to do something they don't feel they can do (out of their comfort zone) provides an opportunity for great spiritual growth. Team members are also exposed to the essential foundation of prayer which is practiced by praying for the new disciples, talks, chapels and the overall direction of the walk. Our goal is that new disciples and team members will be challenged to grow and integrate spiritual disciplines into their daily lives.