Discipleship Pathway




At Hyde Park United Methodist, you’ll hear a lot of talk about the Discipleship Pathway, our uniquely Methodist framework for helping people become and grow as disciples of Christ.

The Pathway includes foundational elements for growth in relationship with God and the church:

Discipleship. We define a disciple as “A follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others.

Stages of Growth. We grow closer in relationship with God by stages, from the initial “I don’t know if I believe in God” to the most intimate “Following Jesus is the most important thing in my life.”

Roles. God, our church and we as individuals each play a role in our spiritual growth.

Spiritual Practices. As we grow closer to God, our spiritual practices change.

God’s transformation of the world. Our discipleship becomes part of God’s plan to redeem this broken world.

Spiritual Practices

Three corporate spiritual practices—in which we engage as a faith community


The primary focus of worship is on God. We celebrate God’s presence, hear the good news of God’s love in Christ. Experience God’s grace in the sacraments of Baptism and Communion. Learn more about worship at Hyde Park.

Small Group Community

We grow by studying, sharing and supporting each other in small groups. Learn more about Groups.

Gifts-Based Service

God wants you to be part of his transformation of the city and the world. Take the Spiritual Gifts Assessment, and find your place to serve.

Four individual spiritual practices (which some remember by the acronym GRIP — Give, Reflect on Scripture, Invite and Pray) – which contribute to personal growth

Financial Generosity

There is a connection between our relationship to money and possessions and our relationship to God. Learn more about Giving.

Invitational Evangelism

We invite others to experience the difference that the love of God has made in our lives and this world.  No sales pitch, argument-winning, fear-tactics, threats or proof-texting. It’s about relationships, conversations and opportunities to invite others on the journey.

Scripture Reflection

As Christians, we read the Bible through the lens of Jesus. If you are just beginning and aren’t sure where to start, open the New Testament first. We provide Daily Scripture Readings that complement Sunday worship messages.


Prayer is the discipline by which we share our life with God, and God shares life with us. Wherever you are, it is a conversation with God that grows and changes over time. This “Methods of Prayer Booklet” is a helpful resource.

Belief + Action = Transformation

So, what does this mean? As Christians, we want to ground the definition by following Jesus, loving God and loving others. Following Jesus suggests that you are attracted to Jesus and his teachings. It also suggests you believe who he, and the church, says he was — God incarnate — and that you are willing to trust him for your personal salvation and for bringing healing and wholeness to the world.

Is belief enough to be considered a “follower of Jesus”? The word “follow” implies more. Action is required in order to be a follower of Jesus. Based on Jesus’ assertion that the greatest commandment is that “you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind” and the second is like it, “love your neighbor as yourself,” we have described this action as loving God and loving others.

Discipleship is about growing in belief and growing in action. Note that usually belief and action don’t change at the exact same time. Sometimes belief is enough to change action, sometimes action happens first, and then we figure out what we believe through action.

As we grow in belief and action, hearts are transformed … for us, for the church and for the world. As followers of Jesus grow in these areas, things transform. God utilizes our growth as individuals and faith communities to participate in his transformation of the world.

Learn more about the Discipleship Pathway

Read “A Disciple’s Path” by the Rev. Dr. James A. Harnish, former senior pastor of Hyde Park United Methodist, with the Rev. Justin LaRosa, current minister of The Portico campus. Available at the Aldersgate Bookstore and Coffee shop in Knox Hall or online. “A Disciple’s Path” also is available as a small group study, with workbooks and videos.

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