One of our core values at Foothills is what we call JESUS-SHAPED DISCIPLESHIP. A disciple of Jesus is simply someone who learns from Him to live like Him. We seek to make disciples who imitate the 3-dimensional life of Jesus who lived UP with the Father, IN with other disciples, and OUT on mission to unbelievers. Here's how we do this...
Our children's ministry is called MY MESSAGE. Children K-5th grade are released from the service before the sermon to go off for their own "message" - which is designed to help them engage with the UP, IN, and OUT aspects of the Jesus-Shaped Life. They go UP by learning about God and worshipping Him together; they go IN by learning the importance of unity and community by building relationships with one another; and they explore ways to take the Good News of Jesus OUT to their family and friends.
Our youth ministry is for students grades 6-12 and also gathers during the sermon on Sundays for their own time in the Word. The Jesus-Shaped Life is also a main focus of our youth ministry as students go UP by digging into the Word together; they go IN by building relationships with one another around tables of home-baked breakfast foods; and they go OUT by praying for their friends and inviting them to occasional OUT gatherings.
Our adult discipleship ministry is also focused on making and growing disciples who live Jesus-shaped lives together and who go on mission together to make disciples. This is a process into which we've put a lot of thought and prayer. We've landed on 4 main goals for us to pursue in order to become a church of disciples who make disciples who make disciples. They are:
BUILD A CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP IN THE CHURCH
In order to be a church of disciples who make disciples, a culture of discipleship must be established that includes language, rhythms, methods, and practices. Our discipleship culture is modeled after the discipleship culture Jesus created and passed on to His first disciples in the Gospels. Here are a few of the discipleship concepts that make up our discipleship culture. Click on each one to read more:
LIVE LIFE IN DISCIPLESHIP COMMUNITIES
Discipleship Communities are a structure that helps us get to our true goal: oikos. Oikos is a Greek word used in the New Testament to refer to “households” (extended families) who functioned together with a common purpose or mission. In the early church, discipleship and mission always centered around and flourished in the oikos. God has commissioned all believers to compassionately reach out to those around us, invite them to join us in community, share the story of the gospel with them, make disciples, and gather these disciples into families to follow Jesus together. That’s really what Discipleship Communities are all about.
LEARN IN DISCIPLESHIP HUDDLES
The goal of Huddle is for participants to develop their ability to independently hear God, develop action plans, and follow through. The Huddle process helps build confidence in hearing God and capacity to obey him. Yet Huddle isn’t just about building disciples, it’s about building disciples who disciple. Once Huddle participants have grown as disciples, they are expecting to begin their own discipleship Huddles. This is the main way the church can see discipleship multiplication. Click here to read more about Huddles.
GO ON MISSION TOGETHER TO MAKE DISCIPLES
We are convinced that best strategy for making disciples is to use the biblical "People of Peace" strategy. Jesus lays out this strategy in Luke 10:1-16, instructing 72 disciples in how to prepare people in the towns and villages He was about to visit. A central part of his strategy was for them to center their ministry around a Person of Peace (translated “a person who promotes peace” in the NIV). The Person of Peace was someone who welcomed the disciples of Jesus into his or her home, was open to the message they were bringing, and served them. We encourage people to begin using this strategy by simply identifying the people who know they are a followers of Jesus but still welcome them, listen to them, are open to them, and seek to serve them in some way. These are People of Peace, and together, we love them, welcome them, invite them to join our Discipleship Communities, and share the Good News of Jesus with them.