This year, Union’s men’s and women’s discipleship programs are undergoing some changes.
Overall, the main change is in the name, said Lee Wilson and Keely Beasley, both of whom are directors of Discipleship and organizers of the men’s and women’s discipleship programs.
The men’s discipleship program, previously called Man Up, is now called Men’s Cooperative, Wilson said.
The women’s program, previously titled Klemata, is now known as Women’s Cooperative.
“It was time for an update,” Beasley said. “The name changes to both men’s and women’s programming reflect a cohesive approach to discipleship on campus.”
Wilson added, “What we will be doing in teaching and training men and women will run on parallel tracks, so we felt that the name and the structure of the ministry should reflect that relationship.”
The primary change in the women’s discipleship program is in the name change, which took effect at the beginning of this semester, Beasley said, adding that the mission of Women’s Cooperative is “a desire to see women loving God and neighbor, out of an overflow of God’s word at work in their lives.”
The vision is not unique to Women’s Cooperative but is the same vision that existed in Klemata, she said.
“It began with a handful of women meeting in their dorm room, developed into a campus-wide discipleship opportunity under the name Klemata and continues today, as Women’s Cooperative,” Beasley said.
“Women’s Cooperative invites women to gather in weekly small groups [and] study a selected text of the Bible, while growing in community with one another.”
The men’s discipleship program, on the other hand, is experiencing further changes.
In addition to the name change, the men’s program is undergoing “a re-structuring to put greater emphasis on small groups of men gathering weekly to live out the Christian life,” Wilson said.
In the past, Man Up’s large group met at 7 a.m. on Thursday mornings.
As part of the change, the Men’s Cooperative will meet on Tuesday nights.
Wilson believes that moving the large group gatherings from Thursday mornings to Tuesday nights will make Men’s Cooperative more accessible to students.
“I think guys will be excited that they don’t have to wake up at 7 a.m. to study the Scriptures with a large group of guys,” Wilson said.
Each month, Wilson will lead the large group gathering.
Wilson said that in each monthly meeting, he will “draw the guys’ attention to key men and issues pertaining to masculinity in Scripture.”
Small groups of men will meet weekly to follow up on Wilson’s monthly messages.
Wilson said these meetings will also focus on spiritual disciplines such as prayer, meditation, fasting, and worship, in addition to reflecting on Scripture.
Wilson realized that many men struggle to find a place in their schedule to “pause and reflect on how to live out what they have learned,” even in a school where students are exposed to countless godly speakers, preachers and teachers.
Wilson believes that this new approach to men’s discipleship will give men at Union a scheduled time in their life to reflect on God.
“While there is an important teaching component to Men’s Cooperative, the majority of the time is dedicated to the work of spiritual formation,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that the changes for both the men’s and women’s discipleship programs will mainly take effect this spring, but the leadership training and recruitment will start this fall.
IF YOU GO
The first Men’s Cooperative meeting will be held next semester, at 9 p.m. Feb. 11, 2014, in the Bowld Commons, room 247.
The first Women’s Cooperative Meeting will be at 9 p.m. Feb. 11, 2014, in the Carl Grant Events Center.