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  Discipleship 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:

(Giving Generously, Reading Scripture, Invite Others and Prayer) that 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

“A Disciple’s Path” was co-authored by our former Senior Pastor the Rev. Jim Harnish and current pastor of The Portico location, the Rev. Justin LaRosa. Each session features an engaging DVD lesson featuring Jim and Justin, as well as the personal story of a member of Hyde Park United Methodist. The book is available at the Aldersgate Coffee Shop in Knox Hall (Hyde Park location) or online.

“A Disciple’s Path” also is used for our New Member Class. Six week classes are offered throughout the year. Find out more at hydeparkumc.org/join.