Encounter Accompanists

What is an Encounter Accompanist?

Accompanists are trusted individuals with a strong Christian conviction who have wisdom and experience and a concern for personal and spiritual development. An accompanist is an encourager who sits alongside an Explorer on their journey of reflection and discovery during the Encounter programme.

The key aims of the relationship are to facilitate a deepening sense of discipleship and to help the Explorer to discern God’s purpose for their life. Accompanists meet with their allocated Explorer every 4-6 weeks during an Encounter programme. Each meeting should last about 1-1½ hours, typically involving about 9 meetings over the course of a year.

What do Accompanists do?

Accompanists meet with their an explorer on a regular basis during the Encounter programme to:
  • Offer support and encouragement.
  • Empower an individual to manage their own learning.
  • Help an individual to explore new ideas in confidence.
  • Allow an individual to articulate their thoughts and feelings in a secure environment.
  • Offer both challenge and affirmation.
  • Enable honest self-examination
  • Help an individual to identify their gifts and skills.
  • Help an individual to discern God’s purpose for their life.

How do Accompanist work?

Accompanists work effectively through:
  • Developing a relationship built upon confidentiality and trust.
  • Encouraging reflection on old and new learning experiences.
  • Asking questions which help the explorer to make sense of what they have experienced.
  • Echoing back to the explorer to enable the individual to hear again and make sense of their thoughts.
  • Pointing the explorer to new areas of discovery or learning opportunities.

What 'qualities' do Accompanists need to possess?

Some qualities, skills, knowledge and attributes displayed by Accompanists include:
  • A working knowledge of contemporary Methodism.
  • Awareness of the different opportunities for ministry and service within and beyond the Methodist Church.
  • Knowledge of the candidating process.
  • A concern for the explorer’s well being.
  • Knowledge of who to refer explorers to for specific areas of development.
  • A strong desire to serve God’s people.
  • A developed self-awareness.
  • Experience of engagement with own vocation.
  • A sense of privilege.
  • A commitment to confidentiality.
  • An ability to listen and enable reflection.
  • Confidence to challenge and compassion to affirm.

Support for Accompanists

Development for accompanists will be available within the region, for those new to being an accompanist and experienced accompanists who are looking to refresh their skills. The programme facilitators will keep accompanists updated with materials and information which may help them in their role, and be available for any further advice or help they need. All reasonable travel expenses incurred in meeting with explorers will be reimbursed. Resources to support Accompanists in their role can be found on the 'Accompanist Resources' page, which requires a password that will be supplied to Accompansists when they start their role.

More information on being an Accompanist

If you would like to know more about being an Accompanist, or would like to become involved as an Accompanist, please contact your district coordinator whose contact details can be found on the Contacts page.