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A Deeper Encounter with Christ:

Formation for Discipleship

The work of the Holy Spirit permeates all of the work of the evangeliza-

tion. The task of evangelization is ongoing and sustained by the Holy Spirit

who leads a person to a life of passion and holiness culminating in a world

transformed by Jesus Christ. Missionary discipleship takes place within the

context of evangelization and begins with an encounter with Christ. We

look to Jesus, the Master who personally formed his apostles and disciples,

as the model of evangelization. Christ gives us the method: “Come and see”

(Jn 1:46), “Follow me” (Mt 9:9), “Remain in me” (Jn 15:4), and “Go, there-

fore, and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). The method includes






, and


. This method is formation for

missionary discipleship. It leads the believer to become a disciple and from

there for the disciple to become a missionary.

“‘Do not be afraid!’ When we go to proclaim Christ, it is he himself

who goes before us and guides us. When he sent his disciples on mission,

he promised: ‘I am with you always’ (Mt 28:20). And this is also true for us!

Jesus never leaves anyone alone! He always accompanies us.”


What awak-

ens the disciple is an encounter with Jesus Christ, who accompanies the

person, calls to community, and then sends the disciple on mission to the

world. The remainder of this section will examine the






, and


methodology of missionary discipleship formation.

1. Encounter

The purpose of evangelization is to lead people to encounter Christ.

Encounter Jesus Christ

The Church which “goes forth” is a community of missionary disciples

who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit

and rejoice. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken

the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can

move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who

have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast.


This personal encounter is the key event in the life of every disciple

that changes the direction of life, as we see happen so often in the lives of