Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Intrusion of Discipleship

There are advantages to working across multiple time zones. Catching up on work and ministry back home whilst wrapping up a late dinner in the Ukraine is one of them. And, that's a good thing. It's nice to wrap up a fruitful day of work here and still have time to tend to things in ATL . Anyway, enough of that.

If you're reading this, you can likely tell I don't post much these days. In fact, I've not done so for quite a while. Yet, tonight I want to post an excerpt from a blog I read a bit earlier. Just because I don't post to the blog often doesn't mean the wrestling has quelled. In fact, it has increased as I long to see Christ formed in my church, gospel community, family, and me. To that end, the following excerpt resonates. Hence, the post. actually, a re-post of Bill Hull : exploring a faith that embraces discipleship.

Who could say no to the statement that we ought “to teach people to obey everything Christ commanded?” ... but many believe that we can’t really do that, we are not setup to do it. What it involves is apprenticeship and submission. Our church systems are built on profession of belief, but often we do not believe what we profess. The church systems we have set up protect those who profess from the intrusion of discipleship. We say it is ok to be a part of our churches without a requirement to follow Jesus. Again because our gospel requires nothing of its recipients. What can be done about three generations of Christians who have been trained to evaluate their spiritual lives by how much they enjoyed the worship service? When we lose discipleship we lose the permission to teach deeply, to teach them to obey what Christ commanded. And when that is lost, as it is in our churches, we get the American church. So what to do? I commend to you the simple plan of Philosopher Dallas Willard.

“ I recommend that we not announce that we are going to change things. Just start doing things differently including, of course, teaching people to do what Jesus said. Begin to teach what discipleship is and lay down a theology of discipleship on a scriptural basis. Begin to assume discipleship in church activities. Begin to teach in depth the things central to the NewTestament teachings: God [existence and nature] his kingdom, Jesus in that context, discipleship as a way of life, and how one becomes the kind of person who will, out of inner transformation of mind, will, body, soul and social relationships, do what he said. This is the tried a true method of “Church growth” through the ages: Bigger Christians. And it is precisely what Jesus told us to do.” Willard,Dallas - taken from notes of speech, March 24,2009

Grace & Peace


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