We are entering a new year with a new sermon series -- Discipleship: Growing and Making. The mission of God for us is to make disciples who make disciples. It is very important for us to understand and clarify this for at least two reasons. (1) It is incredibly important for us to define what a disciple is if we are going to grow as a disciple and make new disciples. If we do not know what a disciple is, then we cannot know if we are growing as one nor what the process is in making one. (2) It is the foundation of our vision and mission as Redemption City Church: We are a family of missionary servants committed to growing as disciples of Jesus and making new disciples in all of life.
For us, missional communities are the primary vehicle for growing as disciples and making new disciples in everyday life. Therefore, our missional communities are not merely something we do. They are more than that. They are an expression of who we are in Christ, namely, disciples who make disciples.
In the introduction of our series, my objective was to explain what a disciple is and give a definition of discipleship. Now as we move forward, my hope is that we can unpack discipleship from a common foundation and provide various practical help.
As we understand the words and pattern of Jesus in the Gospels, I think a simple and clear definition for both a disciple and discipleship emerges. Below is my definition of both:
- What is a disciple? A disciple is someone who increasingly worships Jesus, is changed by Jesus, and obeys Jesus’ commands.
- What is discipleship? Discipleship is leading others to increasingly submit all of life to the empowering presence and Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The initial calling of the disciples by Jesus in Matthew 4:19 and the last words of Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 28:16-20, taken side by side, provide us with a great definition for both a disciple and discipleship. In the end, you will have to decide how you define these terms.
Discipleship intersects all of life, that is, every aspect of our life and within the course of everyday life. This is why Missional Communities are so vitally important for discipleship. How can someone lead me to increasingly submit my marriage to the empowering presence and Lordship of Jesus if they do not know my life well enough to see how I am loving my wife? How can I effectively lead someone to increasingly submit their job to the empowering presence and Lordship of Jesus if I do not know their life well enough to see how they are submitting to their boss and caring for their co-workers? The only way we will be effective as disciples is if we are sharing life with one another and committed to each other’s growth in Christ. This must happen within the context of everyday life because it is in the everyday that our behavior will reveal what we are believing about who God is, what God has done, and who we believe we are.
Over the next several weeks, we will be unpacking all this in greater detail. My hope and joy is to see our Missional Communities increasingly become the environment of discipleship as we grow deeper and reach outward together.
MC Discussion Questions:
- Are we presently set up in such a way that we could actually help each other grow into the fullness of Christ in all things?
- What do we think are the things we tend to emphasize most in discipleship and what are the ones that we tend to emphasize least?
- How could we better emphasize the things that we’re failing to develop in each other now, for the future of our group?
- Repentance & Faith
- Gathering as Disciples
- Spirit Dependence | part 1
- Spirit Dependence | part 2
- Gospel Hospitality
- Gospel Stewardship
- Spiritual Warfare | part 1
- Spiritual Warfare | part 2
- Conflict & Resolution
In Christ -