Our Missional Discipleship process is based off of the work done by Joseph Myers in his book Search to Belong along with the help of sociologist Edward T. Hall as well as the book Discipleship that Fits by Alex Absalom and Bobby Harrington. Myers and Hall identify four kinds of spaces in which we find a sense of belonging. Our process seeks to use all four of these spaces to make disciples of Jesus, as well as add a fifth space/context not in Myers or Hall’s work but found in Absalom and Harrington’s.
Public space is about sharing a common experience in a larger space, like a public worship service, or if the church isn’t large, a regional or city gathering of some type. Biblically this was when they gathered in places like the temple, or where crowds gathered. Public Space can be defined in numbers as 75+. Public space is a place of Inspiration, Movementum, and Preaching.
For Veritas, our discipleship in the Public Space is connected to our affiliations with the Church of the Brethren and the Ecclesia Network. We tie into regional and local events supported and sponsored by our connections with the Church of the Brethren and the Ecclesia Network.
Social space is where people select a community – people with whom they want to go deeper – to belong to. In the congregational setting, this space is more like a mid-sized group of 20 to 70 people. Biblically this space is what the New Testament calls oikos, a Greek term typically translated “house” or “household.” It refers to the basic building block of ancient society, the household, and its close network of relationships, the extended family. Social Space is a place of Community, Mission, and Practice.
For Veritas, our discipleship in the Social Space takes the form of our weekly Worship Gatherings, our 5th Sunday Days of Service, and other gatherings that encompass our entire community.
Our weekly worship gathering happens on Sunday mornings and includes relational time, musical worship, prayer, biblical message and dialogue around applying the message individually and as a community.
Personal space is where we connect through private relationships. Personal space includes the five to fifteen people whom we feel close to, whom we spend a lot of time with, like Jesus and the Twelve. This is a key area for discipleship to take place in a deeper way. Personal Space is a place of Closeness, Support, and Challenge.
For Veritas, our discipleship in the Personal Space takes the form of our Community Groups, which are groups of 5-15 who meet for community, prayer, Bible Study, and to be on mission together (developing a common mission focus, whether it is a neighborhood or a local non-profit, or a certain people group).
Transparent space is where we share experiences, feelings and thoughts. Intimate relationships are those in which another person knows the “naked truth” about us, without us feeling “ashamed”. This is like the space Jesus had with the three, Peter, James and John. Transparent Space is a place of Intimacy, Openness, and Impact.
For Veritas, our discipleship in the Transparent Space takes the form of Discipleship Groups.
Each group is made up of 3-4 people, typically the same gender, who commit themselves to (at least) a bi-weekly rhythm of 1. Reading the Bible (UP), 2. Meeting for mutual accountability (IN), 3. prayerfully joining God’s work in the world (OUT). No leader is required but someone takes the initiative to start the group.
Divine Space/Personal Walk is about being alone with God, your Creator and Redeemer. This space directly impacts each of the other four spaces. It is hard to measure how someone else is doing in this space. Divine Space is 1-on-1 between myself and God. Divine Space is a place of Identity, Destiny, and Truth.
For Veritas our discipleship in this spaces takes the form of providing resources to encourage our community to be engaged in personal spiritual disciplines to help them grow as individuals.