Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A question of discipleship

Mark Greene in his monograph The Great Divide says something along the lines of: the greatest challenge facing the church today is the need to develop whole-life disciples. Apologies to Mark if I'm misquoting, but I think I have the gist of it and as I recall you'll find the exact sentence of page 20 unless mt memory is playing yet more tricks on me.

Anyway, the point is this, we need to be making disciples, followers of Jesus Christ, who are living out that discipleship in their everyday lives not just their Sunday and housegroup lives.

Discipleship has always been at the heart of the things that move me most. I'm constantly asking myself about what discipleship really looks like, if it's actually defined by all those evangelical niceties I was taught when I first came to faith, or are they a smoke screen that too often allows me to treat my life with God superficially? A topic for more thought I feel.

Well, I was catching up with stuff from around the blogosphere this afternoon and a post from David Fitch popped up about the Missional Learning Commons that is coming up in Chicago in October. I see the information about these events and wish I could be there or at the very least find a few like-minded folk who would do it here in the UK near me!

These are some of the questions that will be shaping their discussions this October and I think they are questions that should be shaping our thoughts too.

  • What does discipleship actually look like in our lives?
  • Does the gospel we preach naturally and organically lead people into discipleship, or does it feel like an extra-curricular activity?
  • How should the call to make disciples shape and guide our church practices: what we do, and how we do it?
  • What is the significance of discipleship as the core component of the formation of Christian leaders?

Perhaps we should add at least a question about what we are going to do next about discipleship in our particular setting. At least that makes it practical and focussed.

I'm particularly drawn to the question about the Gospel we preach and whether it naturally leads to discipleship or not. Certainly in the past we preached a gospel of escape from judgment rather than one of transformation.

No comments: