July 27, 2015
by Roy Hange
Harrisonburg District Minister and co-pastor of Charlottesville Mennonite Church, Charlottesville, Va.

In action: How Harrisonburg District is making disciples

The spiritual dance of disciple-making takes many forms in, among and beyond the Harrisonburg District churches:

Invitations to faith and baptism—One of my greatest joys in walking with pastors is seeing the smiles on their faces when they tell the stories of persons coming to faith in Jesus Christ and recent baptisms. I have also heard stories of persons becoming a church member with the common phrase: “Finally I have found church where I can feel at home as a follower of Jesus.” Making disciples through invitation and welcome is still the joy of our churches.

Inner healing—A number of churches have active inner healing ministries where the spirit of God works for the transformation of brokenness to release persons’ gifted-ness in church life and mission. In various churches there are growing movements of involvement in spiritual direction, Gestalt pastoral care, healing retreats for men and women, centering prayer… The vine of connection to the being of God in Christ is thickening and bearing more fruit.

Missional transformation—A number of congregations have had new community children’s ministries turn them inside out missionally. One of these churches even has some of the children who’ve come through their outreach program entering their junior youth program. Little disciples are welcome also! The body of Christ is speaking through our churches saying “let the little children come unto me.”

Creative peacemaking and justice building—Many of our churches have been active in creative expressions of peacemaking in our violent and broken world echoing the apostle Peter’s sitting down for a meal with the Centurion Cornelius. A group of churches is actively establishing a justice ministry in Harrisonburg called Faith in Action, inspired by a network of 28 congregations acting together for justice in Charlottesville. Many persons from our churches were involved in a recent Harrisonburg initiative on restorative justice.

Through our faithfulness together we see our hope transforming the powers in the Spirit of Christ.

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