The Adult Discipleship Team exists to foster discipleship in the North Alabama Annual Conference. Specific goals from the 2012 Book of Discipline are listed below.
- To lead and assist the Annual Conference, Districts, and local churches in their efforts to communicate and celebrate the redeeming and reconciling love of God as revealed in Jesus Christ to persons of every age, ethnic background, and social condition; to invite persons to commit their lives to Christ and to his church; and to enable persons to live as Christian disciples in the world.
- To promote a holistic approach to the development of Christian disciples. This shall include such ministries as Christian education and other small-group ministries; camping, retreat, and outdoor activities; evangelism; stewardship; worship; lay development; Christian spiritual formation and devotional life; age-level, life-span, and family-life ministries; leadership education; and such other areas of work as the annual conference may determine.
- To promote camping experiences for persons with disabilities, including camps specifically designed for persons with disabilities, and the participation of persons with disabilities, when feasible, in camps sponsored by the district and conference.
- To provide training for clergy and laity in ministries with persons with disabilities, including the areas of the Sunday school, camps and retreats, and faith development.
- To provide guidance and training for related district leaders and agencies and for local church councils, officers, and committees.
- To develop a unified and comprehensive program for leadership training to serve all age groups in the home, church, and community.
- To determine the necessary directors, coordinators, or designated leaders for discipleship responsibilities at the annual conference level, including the maintenance of linkage with the General Board of Discipleship and related district committees within the annual conference.
Responsibilities in the Area of Christian Education
- To develop and promote a program of Christian education for the whole life span, to lead, assist, and support congregations and districts in developing systems for educational and small-group ministries that offer knowledge of and experience in the Christian faith and the spiritual disciplines as motivation for Christian service in the Church, the community, and the world. This may include guidance and training for district leaders responsible for Christian education and for local church ministry areas and commissions on education, superintendents of the church school, church school division superintendents, church school teachers, and other leaders in the educational ministry of local churches.
- To develop and maintain an organized system for communicating and working with persons responsible for Christian education programs in local churches, districts, jurisdictions, and the General Board of Discipleship.
- To encourage the observance of the first Sunday of Christian Education Week, or some other day designated by the annual conference, in each local church as Christian Education Sunday for thepurpose of emphasizing the importance of Christian education and for receiving an offering for the work of Christian education.
- To promote church school extension by: (1) encouraging the development of new United Methodist church schools; (2) starting new classes; (3) expanding teaching and learning opportunities in the congregation and community.
- To assist local congregations in initiating programs of teacher recruitment, development, training, and retraining in biblical, theological, and ethical thinking as well as in the procedures and methods of Christian education.
- To cooperate in the promotion of knowledge about the support for all schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries related to the conference, the United Methodist Student Movement, and the campus ministry of the conference, region, or area through the establishment and support of such programs as may be approved by the annual conference in harmony with the policies and procedures of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Responsibilities in the Area of Evangelism
- To plan and promote an effective, comprehensive ministry of evangelism.
- To create an understanding of, interest in, and commitment to evangelism throughout the conference.
- To provide for the training of clergy and laypersons in leadership in ministries of evangelism, the distribution of promotional literature, the encouragement and enlistment of local church participation in an ongoing ministry of evangelism, and the support of church revitalization and new church development.
- To give guidance to the groups responsible for the work of evangelism in the districts and to the ministry area of evangelism in the local church.
- To give particular emphasis to the promotion of ministries of evangelism, which may include ministries in jails and prisons with offenders, victims, and their families, in order that all persons living in a community where there is a local United Methodist church, and who are without a church affiliation or who make no profession of faith, will be included within the nurturing and caring responsibility of that local church.
- To recommend annually, in consultation with the Board of Ordained Ministry, to the conference and to the bishop in charge the appointment of certain effective members of the conference as general evangelists, provided that such persons shall meet the standards set for general evangelists by the General Board of Discipleship. This person shall serve as an ex officio member of the conference board of discipleship area of evangelism. In the event that there is more than one general evangelist in said annual conference, at least one shall be selected by the conference committee on nominations.
- To recommend and endorse the ministry of said general evangelist to the pastors and leadership of the annual conference.
Responsibilities in the Area of Worship
- To be responsible for the concerns of worship for people of all ages within the annual conference.
- To foster the use of the best resources for worship at conference meetings and in all the churches of the conference, promote the use of The United Methodist Hymnal (1989) and The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992) in all the churches of the conference. To plan and promote seminars and demonstrations on cooperative planning for worship involving pastors and musicians, forms of worship, and the use of music and other arts, with particular emphasis on congregational singing. This includes cooperating with the resident bishop, who has primary responsibility for planning all worship services at each annual conference.
- To provide exhibits at the conference sessions, cooperate with the General Board of Discipleship, the conference council on ministries, the conference chapter of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and the Order of St. Luke in promoting seminars and training events in the area of worship, including music and other arts.
- To assist local congregations in discovering and recruiting persons to serve as musicians and in developing the skills of those serving in local congregations in cooperation with the General Board of Discipleship. This focus shall include persons who work full-time, part-time, and especially as volunteers in church music.
Responsibilities in the Area of Stewardship
- To plan and promote a comprehensive program of stewardship for people of all ages throughout the conference in such areas as stewardship education, proportionate giving and tithing, funding the Church’s ministries, planned giving, time and abilities, economics and money management, and lifestyle.
- To interpret the biblical and theological basis for stewardship.
- To promote giving consistent with a Christian lifestyle.
- To develop funding concepts within annual conference, district, and local church consistent with sound stewardship principles and the doctrine of The United Methodist Church.
- To educate the local church that tithing is the minimum goal of giving in The United Methodist Church.
- To design and schedule training events, distribute promotional material, and enlist local church participation in a year-round program of stewardship.
- To give guidance to the ministry area of stewardship in the districts and to the ministry area of stewardship and the committee on finance in the local church.
- To develop a program that will create concern on the part of every local church for the ecological and environmental problems that confront the world and to motivate them to accept responsibility for aiding in the solution of such problems.
- To participate in the work of national and jurisdictional organizations related to stewardship, such as the National Association of Stewardship Leaders and the National Association of United Methodist Foundations.
Responsibilities in the Area of Spiritual Formation
- To promote spiritual formation and the development of the devotional life for families and people of all ages, clergy and laity, throughout the conference.
- To conduct seminars and training events in the areas of private and corporate prayer.
- To encourage and assist with the distribution and use of resources for spiritual formation as provided by The Upper Room and the General Board of Discipleship.
- To encourage every local church to have a prayer coordinator to promote prayer and mobilize the local church to pray.
- To encourage every local church to have a prayer room or designated place for prayer and prayer resources.
- To encourage intentional prayer for pastoral leadership of the local church.
Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.