Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Becoming a Church that Disciples

What would it be like to be a church that had as it’s primary focus making disciples? Oh, I know most churches think that’s what they do but I’m not convinced that’s what is actually happening. A disciple of Jesus is one who follows Jesus and learns from him and in whom Jesus has complete control of the daily agenda and life. I think most of us in church-world think that if people come to church they must be disciples. But I haven’t experienced that to be the case ever.

How would we go about “making disciples” and not just members?

Jesus’ method was to take 12 men and pour his life and teaching into them for about three years. He also kept them on the move. Interesting. Not sure what to do about the “on the move part.” Part of being church today is to have a facility. Facilities don’t move. But I’m not ready to engage in a discussion about whether or not buildings help or hurt discipleship. We’ll tackle that one another day.

Jesus’ didactic style was to say: Follow me. Now watch. Now you try. Now go and do likewise. The style would be fun to try. Not sure how it works in the “classroom” settings we have. We usually just lecture. Sometimes we give homework. But we never really get around to “go and do.” Oh, sure, we like to think that people will apply what we’ve lectured on, but will they? Another discussion for another day.

What would be the curriculum? A series of questions?
#1: Who is Jesus? Seems important if we are to be making his disciples.
Who are you? The work of Jesus on the cross gives you the opportunity to be a child of God, a disciple, a new creation in Christ.
What are you good at? What spiritual gifts has the Holy Spirit graced you with? How can they be employed in the Body of Christ?
Who are you discipling/training/mentoring? In other words, as you have been taught, now teach. Sort of that go and do thing applied for the multiplication of leader/disciples.

I suppose that additional work would need to be done on “how to minister to others” and then something about how to minister to yourself - that is, how to keep yourself hardwired to Jesus; the practice of spiritual disciplines and so on. How to develop a personal devotional life, in other words.

After three years, the disciples would be released to disciple - well, sort of, as with #4 they ought to have been doing it as we go along...

This certainly is a different way of learning. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned. God bless.

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