10/08/11 13:00 View entire series at: Lloyd's musings
We have probably heard the saying “it takes a whole village to raise a child.” In the same way it takes a whole church community to make a disciple. Making disciples is the “business” we are in as Christians and as churches. I would like to draw our attention to 2 key words in this article.
Firstly “disciple.” Essentially a disciple is someone who is becoming an apprentice of Jesus. We are called to partner with God in making full-time students of Jesus. Our privilege is to transform ordinary people into disciples / apprentices whose ordinary lives are immersed into the reality of God. Apprentices of the King who routinely do the continuing work of the Kingdom – preach heal, deliver, etc.”
We are called to turn lost people into missionaries!
I am very grateful for 2 men who invited me, as a brand new believer at the age of 20, into their busy lives to give me some of their time, wisdom and experience, and to receive from their spiritual gifts. One did Bible study with me and gave me an enduring love of study and appreciation for the transformative power of the Bible. The other showed me how to grow in my faith and give what I had experienced away to others, by inviting me to join him on the streets in sharing my story and faith experiences in “open air” preaching and in personal witnessing. I learned the value of continually growing and freely giving away what I had learned, which led me into a lifelong adventure of “joining God in His mission.”
I still have their finger prints on me, which have been joined by many other finger prints over the years of following Jesus. You and I are the result of the people who have discipled/influenced us over the years.
I urge you to be very deliberate about starting or continuing to be deliberately discipled, and as part of that, deliberately discipling others that you can give your life and experience away. This is the main way the Kingdom advances, and we must give full attention to it.
The second word I want to draw our attention to is “community.” When we grasp the importance of the practice of being a functioning part of a church community and serving each other and our surrounding communities as a cohesive whole rather than a group of individuals it spares us 2 almost inevitable undesirable Christian extremes – the super Christian and the non functional Christian.
Sometimes Christianity is portrayed as each individual Christian needing to encapsulate the whole gospel in themselves. So we feel this pressure to be a great evangelist, who can counsel deeply and powerfully, and move strongly in the prophetic, perform signs and wonders regularly, teach profoundly, organize proficiently, move mountains by faith, pray up storms, and generally be a super-Christian who is always happy, who perfectly portrays the whole image of Christ at all times! Of course that is too heavy a burden for the vast majority of ordinary Christians and can lead many to the opposite extreme of non- functioning because its all too far beyond mere humans.
Being part of a community frees us to simply bring the aspect of Christ that we best reflect, and to use our gifts in the community-wide process of making Kingdom disciples.