Especially, but not exclusively, for Indigenous communities or gatherings.
Gospel-Based Discipleship is a wonderful way to keep the Gospel in the centre of what we do. It is a gift from the indigenous communities of our lands to those who share those roots and others who value learning from others. Not a program, not a Bible study, it’s simply a way of placing the Gospel in the centre of all we do. It is an effective way of immersing oneself in the words of the Gospel and hearing what others in your group or Circle are taking from the same word. Why not, then, utilize this process to delve into the call of God to stewardship of all our resources…our time, our money, our environment, our energy and more?
As Gospel-Based Disciples, we commit
- To regularly engage the Gospel
- To take seriously our own spiritual formation
- To nurture and foster the spiritual formation of others
- To live the Baptismal Covenant
- To live as a community of disciples
- To foster reconciliation, healing and vision
- To pray and worship regularly
- To respect the spiritual traditions, values and customs of our many peoples
- To take full responsibility for our local ministries
There are three central questions which people focus on in response to a Gospel passage:
What words or ideas did you hear?
What is Jesus (the Gospel) saying to you?
What is Jesus (the Gospel) calling you to do?
Reading the passage several times is important to allow these different questions to be asked of the group. Typically, the Gospel would be read by someone, followed by the first question. After some silence and then contributions by several in the group, the Gospel would be read again by another person and then the second question put to the group. Again, some time to allow for thoughtful and prayerful reflection from several is given. Then, a third reading with the third question with response.
Hints To Make This Work
Agree at the outset that there is no right or wrong answer.
People have to be open to really listening to others, not just formatting their own responses and telling others what the “truth” is.
Silence is helpful.
Intermingle this process within the meeting if you wish…the Gospel reading can be called for several more times during the meeting (not just at the beginning) to bring it back to the centre of the discussion. All can be encouraged to ask for a rereading when they feel it will be helpful.
Be open to using several translations to fully reach the richness of the text.
Suggested Passages to Use about Stewardship
- Matthew 4: 1-11
- Genesis 1: 27-2.2
- John 21: 15-17
- Luke 6: 37-38
- Luke 12: 13-34
- 1 Timothy 6:6-12; 17-19
- Any segment of Luke 10.
- 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
- 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
- 2 Corinthians 9: 6-14
- Acts 6: 1-6
- Malachi 3: 7-11
‡ The booklet, A Disciple’s Prayer Book, is available from the Office of Indigenous Ministries. This is a much fuller resource on how Gospel-Based Discipleship can be helpful.