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Monday

What Is Discipleship?

After a week at the beach (oil free, thankfully), I am back in the office today.  Now that I am overseeing the adult ministries here at Northside, my biggest focus is discipleship.  The main question I am trying to answer is how do you take a process that looks different for everyone and turn it into something that can be organized and structured at a church wide level.

I don't think you can systematize discipleship to the point that if everyone just takes these certain series of classes or meets x-times a month with their mentor then you can guarantee success.  On the other hand, if there isn't some structure to the process, then there really is no way to implement it systematically on a church wide level.  What then is the answer?

I don't have a complete answer for that question yet.  I am praying and working towards an answer and I believe making some progress as far as what that looks like for Northside.  The first step is to identify what makes up a fully devoted, mature follower of Christ.  Knowledge is one component of the life of a disciple.  Knowledge of the Word, of who God is, and of what the bible says about our world.  I think community is a key component as well.  Having a group of people who know you intimately and who can encourage you, correct you, pray for you, etc. is crucial to growing in Christ. I think that eventually in order to become all that God would have you become, you must become a discipler as well as a disciple.  You must begin to pass on the things God has given you to others.  Reproduction is another key component of the maturing disciple.

The real difficulty lies in discovering a way to provide access to all these components while allowing enough flexibility for the individual to incorporate them into his life in a way that works and is effective for him.  While I may not have all the answers yet (and in truth may never find the absolute best answer), I do know a couple of things for sure.

1. People don't become disciples by accident.  If we, as church leaders, don't set expectations and provide a plan, then it probably won't happen.

2.  While the answers may be difficult to find, they are more than worth fighting for.  If we want our churches to be effective in impacting people for the kingdom, then we have to put in the time and effort to seek these answers.


And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
                                                             --Ephesians 4:11-16



That is my goal for The Church at Northside.  A body of believers that is growing into the fullness of Christ, that is able to discern the truth from a lie, and that is able to build itself up in love so that we may be able to make a difference in Rome, Georgia with the gospel of our Lord.

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2 comments:

  1. Man, that's just good stuff. You sir, are a true Third Option Man! Loved your two points at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  2. reproduction. very Good.
    and, finding a "way" to incorporate the principles into our lives. very well.

    some suggestions:
    take notes while you surf the web. keep an offline journal.

    enjoyed sincerely.
    best,
    whit

    ReplyDelete

Sheldon Clowdus

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