October 2019 Resource

Stride: Creating A Discipleship Pathways For Your Church
Stride: Creating A Discipleship Pathways For Your Church
Mike Schreiner and Ken Willard
Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN
Book Review By:
Melvin Amerson

Premise of the Book:
Healthy, effective churches develop and grow through intentional, on-going, church-wide discipleship building processes.

What the Book Does:
“Stride” is a great resource for congregations, modeled after Morning Star Church that created a discipling process for its members. The preface and introduction provide significant insight to the need, purpose and benefit of developing a process for members and leaders in the local church. This resource leads the group responsible for discipleship from process development and preparation to implementation of their own program. Further, this guide references other resources that can be used to produce a customized discipleship program. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions centered on what was learned, challenges and possible ways toward implementation in an on-going discipleship pathways process.


Preface: Morning Star Church and the Importance of Pathways
Part One: Preparation
Part Two: Implementing the Discipleship Pathway
Part Three: Sustaining the Discipleship Pathway
Appendix A and B
Suggested Reading

What are the Important Insights:

There are numerous insights and ideas through this resource, such as:

A) helping a church work on a discipleship pathway

B) consider ways to grow current leaders as well as reach new leaders for ministry opportunities

C) engage leaders with on-going learning on topics and areas that are essential to ministry.

D) assimilating persons absent from worship based on length of absence of 3, 6 and 9 weeks, using 3 different methods - phone call, email and post card, respectively.

E) discipleship activities fall within three groups: Belong, Become and Bless.

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This a great resource for congregations who want to produce a discipleship process that suits or aligns with its membership and ministry context. A participant book is also available.

Melvin Amerson Area Representative

Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist/Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Melvin is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership and visioning. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.