An Accompanying Member is a permanent member of The Order of Mission (TOM) who accompanies people as they explore membership, take temporary vows and consider making a permanent commitment to the Order. An Accompanying Member may be the explorer’s church or huddle leader, mentor, mission partner or friend – often the person who introduced someone to the Order. The aim of the Accompanying Member is to encourage a reflective, mature, accountable and relational process of both joining the Order as a Temporary Member and in moving into Permanent commitment to the Order (or exploring other alternatives).
The context of this accompanied journey may be through huddle, times of retreat or mission, gatherings or simply the natural connecting points of the relationship. The Accompanying Member offers both encouragement and challenge as the Explorer or Temporary member reflects on what it is to be a missional leader within the community of TOM.
Accompanying Members are part of the discernment process for Explorers and Temporary Members, particularly when considering a call to Permanent membership. Accompanying Members may at times make suggestions regarding their journey within TOM, such as retreating, connecting with other Order members or reflecting on specific aspects of Order life, such as what is God saying to me about simplicity during this season? It is the responsibility of the Explorer or Temporary Member to identify and approach their Accompanying Member to engage in this journey.
People are accompanied within the Order until they have made Permanent vows and have identified a place of belonging within the community. Associate Members do not have an Accompanying Member unless they are considering Temporary membership.