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Our Process



If you build a church, you rarely get disciples.

But if you build disciples, you always get the church.



In keeping with our mission to “build followers of Jesus Christ who love God and serve neighbor,” Tri-Lakes UMC uses a pattern of discipleship based on Jesus’ own life and ministry.  This can be expressed simply in three dimensions that represent the vital relationships that were the context in which discipleship took place:


UP—Jesus’ life and ministry began with his relationship with the Father.  He withdrew regularly from daily activity and distractions to maintain this vital relationship which was the fountainhead of his life and ministry.


IN—This is the immediate sphere of influence in which Jesus operated daily.  The 72, 12, and 3 people with which Jesus spent the most time.  Sleeping under the same roof, eating together, working side by side, these were people who had access to Jesus on a regularly basis with the opportunity to see the inner workings of the Kingdom at work in and through him.


OUT—This was the group of people outside of those who lived within his immediate context.  They are people who were invited into a closer relationship with Jesus through an attractional event such as hearing him speak on a hillside or people from the surrounding areas and cultures.




At TLUMC we highly value discipleship. We consider it to

be not only a good idea, but an essential way of life

for those who follow Jesus


This takes place in our church in several ways:


ConnectIons—A quarterly gathering for those who are new to the church.  Every three months we get together staff, church leaders, and those new to TLUMC to share food and information at the our senior pastor’s house.


Blueprints—This is a four week course we offer every Fall and Spring to initiate those new to TLUMC into our life and community.  We cover everything from the basics of the Faith to Spiritual Gifts.  The purpose is to help those who are considering making TLUMC their home understand their faith better and learn the dynamics of our particular expression of it. This is also the class that leads to formal membership in the church.


Missional Communities—Think of these as smaller communities within the larger community of TLUMC that revolve around a missional purpose.  That is to say they have an outward thrust that comes from the inward community.  They generally meet once or twice a month.


Huddle—This is a closely knit group of Christ followers who meet weekly to grow in discipleship and engage in mutual encouragement and accountability.  This is an invitational model in which those who have participated in a Huddle begin a huddle of their own.



Questions?  Contact our Director of Discipleship, Rob Pennison at 












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