Small Church Discipleship Systems

Regardless of size, every church needs a system for making disciples. For rural and smaller membership churches, these systems do not have to be elaborate but they do need to be intentional. Drawing on lessons learned as we have implemented discipleship systems in the Oklahoma conference, Derrek Belase will discuss practical ideas for churches under 100 in average worship attendance.

Derrek Belase

Derrek Belase

After serving 16 years under appointment in local churches, Rev. Derrek Belase was appointed the director of discipleship for the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in August 2016. In that position, he is responsible for assisting the 480 churches build their capacity to make disciples in their local settings. Before being appointed to the conference office staff, Derrek served Wakita/Manchester, Stillwater Highland Park and Prague/Arlington.

A lifelong Oklahoman, Derrek graduated from Carnegie High School, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University and Saint Paul School of Theology. He also studied at the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford University. He has degrees in criminal justice and theology and was a certified police officer in Oklahoma. Before entering full-time ministry, he was the criminal justice coordinator at the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Fort Cobb.

He was student body president at UCO, named Citizen of the Year in Carnegie and was awarded the Community Service Award by the Interfaith Dialogue Student Association at OSU. He currently serves as a trustee for Saint Paul School of Theology, which has campuses in Kansas City and Oklahoma City.

Derrek is married to Rev. Rebekah Belase, director of funds development and marketing for Church World Service and an ordained deacon in the Oklahoma Conference. They are the proud parents of Madison (age 10) and Elizabeth (age 3). They reside in Edmond and are active in New Covenant UMC.