|The Role of Via de Cristo Within The Congregation|
"You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church."
(Mat. 16:18) The Church is Christ's chosen method for evangelizing the
world and sustaining the people of God. It is the Church that has received
Christ's command to go into the world making disciples and teaching them
to obey everything Christ commands. Tragically, the Church has been torn
in pieces by not only false teaching but also by good teaching emphasized
inappropriately. The Via de Cristo method seeks to appropriately support
pastors and congregations in their home churches. Although the Via
de Cristo is not for everyone (and does not profess to be), it has demonstrated
an effective method for renewal. Since Cursillo began in 1943 it has spread
around the world, encouraging the lives of many and building up the Christian Church.
Via de Cristo is a tool for Church renewal. A tool always works best
when it is used for the proper purpose and in the proper way. Via de Cristo
is a corporate experience of the Gospel for the whole person. It is neither
a head-trip nor a heart trip. Practiced correctly, it will speak to the
whole person. It is not an individual experience, but one to be shared with
others. As such, it is not a tool for individual conversion, but for
corporate growth. Via de Cristo is for the renewal of the Church. It is a
leaven within the Body of Christ.
The Via de Cristo is designed to allow the layperson a significant
partnership with the clergy. In fact, one of the most beneficial outcomes
is that after a weekend the participants are able to view clergy as friends
and co-workers in the gospel. It is well said in Via de Cristo materials
"the Via de Cristo is a movement of the Church, lay in leadership and
commitment to winning the world to Christ."
The Via de Cristo participant should bring strength and renewal to
the whole Body. Everything that is taught and occurs within the
movement is to be consistent with and derived from the original
teachings of the Church; those in existence since its foundation.
Nothing is taught on the weekend that is not consistent with Lutheran
theology. Because of its corporate nature, Via de Cristo should not
be mixed with other kinds of more individual tools. It is not
a vehicle of the neo-Pentecostal experience.
The Via de Cristo method is intended to be a lifelong discipline
for every participant within the movement. On a three-day weekend
new participants, both lay and clergy, are taught a method
which, when practiced, will encourage openness to the Holy Spirit
and effective work for Christ. We describe this method in
terms of Piety, Study, and Apostolic Action.