While each component of our liturgy has different participatory activities (singing, walking, holding, speaking, tasting, listening, reflecting), the Invitation to Discipleship is the most explicit call to action. Based on everything that we have shared together, we have a way to respond. This deliberate decision to move forward in our journey of faith is what we call discipleship.
Sometimes this manifests itself as an “altar call” or a call to join the church, but discipleship is much broader than only those responses. Like all of the liturgy, we try to consider where most of the congregation currently is in their faith but also where they are heading and celebrate any opportunity to cultivate a deeper and more dynamic life.
Behind the Invitation to Discipleship is where our history and our present come together to create an exciting opportunity for our community to grow together.
One of the central tenants of the Restoration Movement is a concept known as the Priesthood of All Believers. This idea contrasts with an assumption of hierarchical spiritual authority. Specifically, that there is a special class of people who have a unique role in mediating God’s presence to people. This is generally seen in sharp divisions between clergy and laity but there can also be assumptions that certain people have preferential status for faith based on their gender, racialization, marital status, citizenship, or sexuality.
Yet Discipleship is not something that only a special class of Christians can participate in or control.
As a church that is committed to being inclusive, we extend the Invitation to Discipleship to all people without putting limits on where that discipleship may lead them. All people are included in the journey of faith that leads us further into experiencing God’s incredible love as partners in seeing our lives and communities transformed by the spirit of Christ.
Experiment: Listen to the words of the Invitation to Discipleship and make a note to yourself, whether in your phone or a piece of paper, about what you can do this week to live one step further in your journey of faith.