During Discovering Christ, participants often make an adult renewal of their baptismal commitment and are baptized in the Holy Spirit, experience deeper conversion to the Lordship of Jesus, or come to Christ for the first time in their lives and enthusiastically ask, "what's next?”
What's next is Following Christ. This stage requires formation and discipleship. For all those who attended Discovering Christ and who want to continue together there are some basic disciplines regarding personally being a follower of the Lord Jesus as Catholics that are important.
What ChristLife focuses on in continuing the process of evangelization that began in Discovering Christ - in a parish, campus ministry or small group - is not adult education that is primarily knowledge about the Catholic faith (important as that is); but rather continuing renewal of hearts and minds and transformation of lives through the grace of disciplines/practices of a disciple who is beginning to live new life in the Holy Spirit.
At the beginning of this process of discipleship some of the most formative means of helping a person grow in union with God and the Church is through experiences of group prayer, teaching with small group discussions and fellowship, bible studies, and periodic one on one mentoring to assist in their progress. This is most fruitful in the context of the life of the Church, which includes regular reception of the sacraments and participation in the liturgy.
Following Jesus in Our Daily Lives
Being a Christian is about a new way of living in our daily lives, not only on Sundays or the life to come! Our goal is to help people mature in Christ (Col 1:28). Those attending the course would understand that they would be making a commitment to grow in their relationship with the Lord Jesus and the Church by taking certain practical actions following each of the sessions. Each week builds on the previous in the discussion times.
The participants would be incorporating the disciplines that are taught each week and discussing them during the small group times. During each week in preparation for the next session the participants would be completing and working to establish a variety of spiritual disciplines. For the sessions to be most fruitful in your life, preparation is not meant to be done one hour before the session. Rather if you take time to reflect and take action daily on the elements from the previous session, real transformation in the Holy Spirit can occur!
The Importance of Relationships
During Discovering Christ many participants establish friendships and relationships that support their new commitment to Jesus. As participants go on to Following Christ it is essential to foster relationship building as a priority. Though the teaching each night is the most direct formation; prayer together and fellowship during small group discussions are essentials that surround the teachings and make it real in the participants lives and personal relationships.