For Emmaus Road, this season
is a time of self reflection and healthy evaluation of why we do what we do as a church. One of the themes emerging from discussions is the theme and term "discipleship". Recently, a helpful blog post came to my attention. I like the way blogger John Eigege (church planter/campus minister in Houston, TX), draws attention to four elements of discipleship, and succinctly unpacks a loaded word. Check out John's post, What Do You Mean by Discipleship. Other helpful sources on discipleship include the classic The Master Plan of Evangelism or a more recent book, Building a Discipling Culture.

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The Emmaus Road Story

In the winter of 1997, we began as a small team of about 10 people, committed to gathering and growing a church that would connect with others like ourselves; people interested in connecting with God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but disconnected from the activity of many mainstream congregations. With the financial support of a larger church organization, our pastor was able to work full time with the team in planning, leadership development, and meeting people in the community.

Our first meetings were open discussion forums. We talked about prayer, scripture, spiritual discipline and the issues with which we all struggle. As friends talked to friends, the first group expanded and we multiplied into two.

Inspired by the journey process as a metaphor for spiritual growth, we searched for a name which would reflect that idea. In the resurrection narrative of Luke 24, we found our name "on the road to Emmaus."

After our first worship event on Good Friday of 1997, both groups began to gather together for worship once a month. In various coffee shops and rental spaces, we gradually increased our worship times to twice a month, and in September of 1998 we decided to gather every Sunday. Since the beginning, numerical growth has been gradual but steady, most often through the personal contact of friends talking to friends.

Today, several small groups continue to meet for open discussions on prayer, scripture, and the process of encountering God in daily life; we all gather for worship each week.