What is Discovering Christ?
Goals of Discovering Christ
The goals of Discovering Christ are 1) to help participants enter or renew a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to experience the love of the Father, and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live as his children and serve as his disciples in the Catholic Church and 2) to help the participants begin to receive the relational support necessary to live for Christ within the parish, campus ministry, etc. that offers the course.
A Typical Evening Schedule
- 6:45 - Dinner
- 7:30 - Welcome and Prayer
- 7:45 - Teaching (video-based or live)
- 8:30 - Break and Small Group Discussion
- 9:15 - End
Discovering Christ Structure
The course consists of seven sessions and a retreat day. Each session includes four components: a dinner (if the course is offered in the evening), a prayer time, a teaching, and a small group discussion. Each component is vital to the evangelizing process of Discovering Christ.
In order to help cooperate with the grace of God at work, it is essential to provide a welcoming, safe relational environment. To achieve this, we have a dinner at the beginning of each session.
The dinner is a time to grow together socially; it is not intended as a time for discussion of the course topics, but rather a time that helps foster relationships, to grow in friendship. This relational dynamic of the course is critical for the participants.
We want to help people to become comfortable praying together. We do this as a large group prior to the teaching and then later on, as the course develops, in the context of the small groups.
The teaching is essentially proclamation, that is, basic teaching on the good news of what God has done in and through Jesus Christ. There are seven sessions and a day retreat (with two teachings). The retreat day is held after the fifth session. There are a total of nine teachings:
- What Is the Meaning of Life?
- Why Does Jesus Matter?
- What Does Jesus Want Us To Know?
- Why Do I Need a Savior?
- Why Is the Resurrection Important for Us?
- Who Is the Holy Spirit? (Retreat)
- The Holy Spirit and You! (Retreat)
- New Life in the Spirit: Being a Catholic Disciple
- Believing and Belonging: Why We Need the Church
Small group discussion
Small groups are intended to be safe places to discuss freely what the participants have heard in the teaching. It is essential for the participants to have the freedom to share what they think and feel about what they heard. The discussion is not a time for further teaching, but a time to facilitate communication.
The retreat takes place after the fifth session. It is an essential component of Discovering Christ which will not work without it. It’s purpose is to “create space” in people’s lives to respond to the proclamation of the Gospel in previous sessions and to turn to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to be the center of their lives and to be renewed or baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The day usually takes place on a Saturday and in a different location from that of the evening sessions. The day allows the opportunity for personal reflection, two teachings on the Holy Spirit, the sacrament of Reconciliation, meals together, free time for fellowship and have fun, and a prayer service at the end allowing participants to commit to Jesus as Lord.