We are part of a church that we have grown to love over the past eight years that we have been part of it. For seven and a half of those years I served the church as pastor to seniors, but since my retirement at the end of last year we have decided to remain because we have sunk very deep roots in the soil of this wonderful church. A couple of years ago the board, after a great deal of prayer and consultation with the staff and congregation introduced a new vision statement that has caught my imagination. We are a community of disciples that passionately seek, obey, and reflect Jesus. I like that, but it raised a very interesting question for me – what is a disciple?
It’s one of those words that most of us feel that we understand until we actually try to define it. A disciple is just a follower of Jesus, isn’t it? But again, we are lapsing into church language without really defining what we are trying to say. In the Great Commission Jesus told His disciples that they were to make disciples, with a bit of an explanation – teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It sounds as though the disciple making process is somewhat more than simply praying the “sinner’s prayer”. It is a process, but what are the component parts of that process?
A few years ago, I came to the conclusion that I no longer had what could be referred to a “career trajectory. When I resigned from my current ministry position, I wouldn’t be taking on another assignment, I would be retiring. In the meantime, what did God want me to do? I felt that He wanted me to do more than simply mark time till I could retire. The more I prayed, the more I felt that He wanted me help prepare the next generation of Christian leaders for their ministries. I felt that God wanted me involved in this process of making disciples, but again, that stubborn question of what is a disciple kept raising its head.
I started this process with two questions that I want to pose to you – what should a disciple know and what should a disciple do? I want to make it a bit easier for you to answer the question. Following is a list of some things I believe a disciple should know. What I want you to do is to prioritize them and add other things you think a well-rounded disciple should know. Later we will do a similar exercise with the question of what a disciple should do.
Please list the areas of knowledge you think a disciple should have, in order of priority in the comments section. If you aren’t able to insert this into the comment section, please email or message me on Facebook. Then add any other areas you think I have omitted.
Apologetics (Knowing what it is that a Christian believes)
Christian world view
Don’t include any on your list that you don’t think are important and remember to add ones that you feel I missed. Future blog posts will be based in large part on your responses.
Well, till next week Keep the Son in Your Eyes.