Corpus Christi began as a ministry to serve the members of Via Church Lethbridge. Quickly, we realized it’s potential to grow beyond the local church in Lethbridge. Since its origin, Corpus has grown steadily over the last 13 years and is now being used as a discipleship tool in multiple churches and for many individual people within Via Apostolica and without. In its first iteration, Corpus was known as Leadership Academy and was led by Bishop Todd Atkinson. Since those days under Bishop Todd, there have been changes made to its name, length, and its intensity. Still, it has consistently held to the belief that high-level discipleship should be made available to every Christian within the local church.
We saw many Christians living their lives knowing what the right answers to questions about God, but they couldn’t tell you why it mattered. There was intellectual understanding without whole life transformation. It caused us to ask the question, “What are we missing in the church today that is causing this disconnect between the truth of God and life transformation?”
Following the model of the early Christian church, we looked to the scriptures and the ancient Christian creeds to see what is right belief and how has the church always received it? What were we missing?
What we found was that the church had always taught those entering the church through catechism, but this training was not solely intellectual. They believed that the truth of God should be received in the head and the heart, followed by an act of the will to continue in the way of Jesus. This is the goal of Corpus Christi. To disciple the people of God into the truth of God in such a way that they know that it was for this purpose that they were created. God wants us, created us for himself, and being with him is where we will feel the most human, the most alive and the freest.
How then do we train someone in this way?
We believe that we are meant to be formed by God. We did not ask God into our stories when we were saved, we were welcomed into his. Together, we look at the story of God in the scriptures and learn to allow the scriptures to shape us. We must learn to be followers and learners. To receive the truth of the Triune God from his self-revelation, not build God in our own image. This means laying down our ideals and looking to him.
To do this, we encourage a deep love for the scriptures and theology, a deep commitment to prayer, which we believe will deepen the individual's passion and commitment to God, and all of this must be done in community. These fundamentals of the Corpus Christi program remain. The truth of God, as revealed in scripture, is transformational when we allow ourselves to be formed by it. This means a choice of the will to follow his ways and a choice of the heart to trust in all God says about himself. Then, when God forms us, we are shaped by his story, we will live in this life as his image-bearers, showing Christ to the world.
For more information, please visit our website at www.corpus-christi.ca