The Encounter Programme

What is Encounter?

Encounter is a programme of exploration into discipleship and vocation developed and run by the Methodist Church. It aims to help people to know themselves better, develop a deeper relationship with God, identify their gifts and discern who and how they are to be in the world, including exploring various possibilities for service.

Encounter helps you reflect on your journey to see where God has called you in the past and may be calling you now. Together with others you will reflect on what you already do as a follower of Christ, share and reflect on some new experiences and learn more about the Christian faith.

Encounter programmes run across an increasing number of Districts and there are a number of start dates in the year at various locations.  The current District contacts are listed on the Contacts page.

What are the aims of Encounter?

Encounter is designed to help you to develop a deeper understanding of the call from Jesus to ‘Follow me’. It provides an opportunity to consider the following questions:
  • What gifts and skills are God-given?
  • What does it mean for me to follow Jesus today?
  • What is my calling?
  • How does my church tradition help me to serve God today?
  • How am I Christian within and beyond my local church?
  • What part do I play in God’s mission?

Who is Encounter for?

Encounter is for Christians who have a desire to deepen their faith and increase their awareness of what being a Christian disciple means for their everyday lives and what God is calling them to be and do. Encounter aims to deepen understanding of vocation in a broad sense, exploring calling in your home and work context as well as possibilities for service in church and community settings.

What does Encounter involve?

The core part of Encounter revolves around monthly meetings of 8-12 ‘explorers’ usually held on an evening over a period up to a year. Sessions involve prayer, engagement with the Bible, discussion, guest speakers and time for reflection.

Between meetings you will complete various individual activities of your own choosing. These will include practical experiences of Christian service or ministry and some type of structured learning, such as a short course, a study day or guided reading. During the programme you will also meet regularly with an Encounter Accompanist to discuss and reflect on how you are growing in your relationship with God and discerning your unique calling in the world.  A more detailed description of the Encounter programme, including the aims of each session and the likely time commitment needed, can be found in the Encounter Programme Overview.

The cost of the programme is £90. For explorers connected to the Methodist Church £30 is paid by each explorer, their Circuit and their District.