Inasmuch: Discipleship Team

February 2022 | Written by Maribeth Griessel

Hear the term “disciple” and what do you think?  Ah, yes, Jesus personally selected twelve men to serve as His disciples during His three year earthly ministry.  Hopefully you can even name most, if not all, of these dozen individuals.  Check in the dictionary and learn that a disciple is someone who believes in and helps share/spread the teachings of a master.  But take it a step further, what is “discipleship”?  Online definitions explain discipleship as a journey of intentional decisions leading one to maturity in his/her relationship with Jesus (or the Master).

In this series of articles that The Porch has been providing, entitled “INASMUCH”, the focus has been on various sub-groups of the Stewardship Committee.  This month we examine the Discipleship Team to see how it fits the verse from Matthew that we have been highlighting, “Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.”

Pastor Michael Morefield chairs this committee, currently comprised mostly of staff members Rachael Adams, Caleb Mason and Nicole Moncada, as well as new member Tom Crossett and soon-to-be member Bob Williams. This team is beginning the fourth year of its annual discipleship emphasis.  Over the past three years these have focused on Bible reading, scripture memory and prayer.  “Our yearly Discipleship emphasis was started to help us as a church be more intentional in the ways in which we want to grow closer as disciples of Jesus.  I’m really excited to let people know that throughout this coming year we are going to have a series of different seminars on the various spiritual disciplines.  These will typically take place on a Saturday, for a couple of hours, and will be a time where people can not only learn about a specific spiritual discipline, but also be equipped in how to practice it in their walk with the Lord,” explained Michael.  “This year’s emphasis on spiritual disciplines begins with Bible reading.  During 2022 seminars will be presented, at least once a quarter, on different spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting, in addition to reading The Word, including how to read, study and meditate on scripture.”

During February the first seminar is planned to help us in how to study the Word.  Then in March the next seminar is planned on the topic of Fasting During Lent.  When questioned about those individuals who, for various health reasons, may be unable to fast in the commonly understood way, from meals, Pastor Morefield clarified, “The key with fasting is pulling something out (of our life) that drives us to pray, drives us closer to Christ.  It could be surrendering a habit or even something that is a good thing, so that we can better appreciate the greatest thing.”  

Another vital part of the Discipleship Committee is oversight of the adult Sunday School, and also assistance with the student, children’s and Little Lambs ministries, as needed.  Rachael Adams commented, “I appreciate having the support and collaboration of the Discipleship Team.  Whether I have an idea or a difficulty in Children’s Ministries, the team is there to help me see it through.”  

Matt Martinie serves as an ad hoc member of the Discipleship committee, in his position as coordinator for the adult Sunday School teachers.  He explained his service, “As the adult Sunday School coordinator, I lead our quarterly planning meetings, ensuring that we have enough teachers and co-teachers for our classes, and that we have a good balance of what is being taught: books of the OT and NT, various topics, the Confession of Faith, etc., while also regulating what is being taught so that we don’t have too much repetition of subjects.  We have outstanding teachers at Gashland, and it is my privilege to work with them for the equipping of the saints.”

Michael offered additional praise and information, “Gashland has a real jewel in our Adult Sunday School Program.  We typically offer 4-6 different classes each quarter.  The fact that we have that many classes to choose from is in itself special and unique.  But on top of this, these classes are taught by teachers who love the Lord and love to faithfully teach His Word.  Many of our teachers have years of experience in leading ministries, some have gone to seminary, some were pastors for many years.  We, as a church, are really blessed to have such an amazing team of teachers.” 

The Discipleship Team is in the process of adding new people to the team and deciding how to expand discipleship ministries at Gashland.  If church members have any questions about, or suggestions for, this committee, they may feel free to contact any member of the team.  Pastor Michael had a closing thought, “I would really encourage anyone who has never been a part of an Adult Sunday School class to try one out.  This really is a wonderful way to dive deeper into the Word, to learn with fellow believers, and to become better disciples of Jesus.”

Laura Cooper teaches the women’s class, which meets in Rooms 217-218, and is conducting “A Study of Exodus.”  

Matt Martinie serves as the Adult Sunday School coordinator, as well as co-teaching one of the classes along with Mike Brink, Barry Cooper, and Peter Marshall. Their class meets in the Fellowship Hall, and they are currently studying the Gospel of Matthew.