Sharing Our Story
Following the Path of Early Anabaptists
“This leads us into something that we’ve not done very much of and that is making disciples - reaching out to people beyond the church into our friendship networks, work worlds, or neighbours and inviting them to consider Jesus in their lives,” says David Dyck, pastor at Leamington United Mennonite Church.
“One of the strengths of ReLearning Community is that it is taking us back to a time in our own history that we need to revisit. The original Anabaptists were evangelical in their mission, open about sharing their faith and making disciples. In some ways this is a re-learning of what we have lost and need to recover.”
After catechism/baptism classes, there seemed to be a discipleship void in their congregation so a team from Leamington United Mennonite joined ReLearning Community and began pondering how to be discipled and how to make disciples. For the next two years the team has committed to meet together every two weeks to explore a disciple-making culture and incorporate it into their lives.
“We’ve talked a lot about leaving our comfort zones and being willing to step out into deep water that we may not have been in before,” says David. “It is consistent with the Gospels. Jesus invitation to anyone is ‘Come with me.’ It’s not about a safe journey, it’s about a good one.” Through ReLearning Community, Leamington United Mennonite is finding ways to make discipleship a much bigger part of their ministry, both within the congregation and beyond.
“The conditions that we are living in today within Canada are changing very rapidly. Unless we are willing to adapt to some of those changes and step out of our comfortable church cultures, we just won’t survive,” predicts David.
He continues, “We have had a strong history of the church in Canada and never imagined it could come to an end. Other church denominations, very similiar to ours, are in steep decline today and in some cases on life support. There is a sense of urgency for church leaders to help people come to terms with these things, and offer some positive steps that we can take to ensure that we are alive, because we have good news here.”