“The Christian’s life should put his minister’s sermon in print.” –William Gurnall
Dear church family,
As I read William Gurnall’s observation, “The Christian’s life should put his minister’s sermon in print,” I am not thinking of my own sermons but rather a recent sermon by Darin. It was in this sermon that he defined discipleship as “the intentional, passionate, and consistent pursuit of spiritual growth and fruitfulness, not only for ourselves but for others that God has put in our lives.” The call to make disciples was given by our Lord himself in what has become known as the Great Commission:
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The Great Commission is the mandate of the Lord given to his church. Each member is to be about making disciples. The job is not complete until the disciple we are discipling is discipling someone else. Wow. That’s a lot of discipling! Yes, it is and should be.
The church has many ways of nurturing and maturing people: Sunday School classes, Worship Services, Small Group meetings, Monthly Bible Studies, shared ministry experiences (like Free Range or the Mat ministry), special events, etc. The list goes on and on. But the way Jesus did it was to pour his life and teaching into a select group of individuals and even within that group, he focused on a few (think Peter, James, and John). In our desire to imitate Jesus, the leadership of The Road is going to begin a one-to-one discipleship emphasis. For many months now, Charles and I have been praying about and looking over various materials that would be a help in establishing a more thorough-going discipleship structure. We are continuing to work on that. In the meantime, we have been urged by the elders to begin the process of identifying individuals who will heed the call to disciple others and those who would like to be a disciplee. In short, we are looking for mentors and for people who desire to be mentored. Are you in either of those camps? Would you be willing to approach Charles or me and say, “I want to be discipled,” or “I would like to mentor someone.”
In closing, I want to make a few observations:
- The importance of this work demands prayer, further discussion, and slow, intentional implementation. Please pray for The Road and its leaders as we begin this work.
- This is not another program. Discipleship is the very thing we are to do. Much prayer is required. Please refer to the first bullet point.
- Doing this thoughtfully and well will impact our community more profoundly than any facility that will be constructed. I know that that is true. Otherwise, Jesus’ Great Commission would be to “Go, and build buildings…”
- Real discipleship is messy because it involves people. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” (Proverbs 14:4) If we want abundance, we must expect a mess.
What observations has the Lord taught you about discipleship? Would you share them with me and Charles? Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday.
Love in Christ,