Thoughts on discipleship

I think the church has gotten off track in some ways when it comes to discipleship. I want to be an instrument of change if God wants to use me in some way for a discipleship revolution if you will.

Loving people and remembering that they are fallen has really challenged me and made me step back a little bit to remember that what we are dealing with. Sinful people that need delivered, then developed, then deployed…and at each step there will be rejection. there will be hardships. There will need to be caution and extra care taken at each step of the way. So this principle helped bring me down to reality and challenged me. How can we make these changes that I think we so need but also in light of the fact that men are men. Sometimes I have not been a delicate discipler, but I need to be more so.

I desire to build in men at my secular world as well as my sacred world (church.) My strategy might be different but my goal is the same for both: deliver, develop, deploy and see reproduction!

This course influences me to pray for my lost friends at work that I want to build into. It influences me to pray for men to build into wherever I am. This course influences and challenges me to lead the way. I cannot just preach discipleship, I have got to be doing it. Not just on the receiving end but also on the building into new guys end of it.

Advertisements

The nature of mankind greatly should affect the method and approach to ministry.

All of us, men, come from a fallen background. We are all hurting, no one has it all together. Also man has to chose, we cannot force anything on anyone, nor should we try.

The concept that I personally need help with is love. I pray almost everyday that the Lord will give me love for the people I need to serve today. I need love to be patient with the lost. I need love to reach out to the lost. I need love when I am teaching my classes at church, yes I need to love even the saints, not just the sinners. I am not asking for “love” in general, that I can muster, but the love of Christ to work through me. Because I am from a fallen background too. I make mistakes a lot and my love is useless. I need Christ to fill me with his compassion and love for my flock and for my lost friends.

Also I need patience. Similarly, not my own patience but Christ’s. I need to realize that man will make his own decisions. I am here to help, but ultimately I have already made the decision to follow Christ completely. I cannot expect others to have the same attitudes, response, commitment that I may or may not have. Everyone has their own experiences and thoughts about God. I should not try to force them to follow in my footsteps, although sometimes I really agonize for them – that they (the lost and my disciples) will follow me (in discipleship or in salvation respectively.)

I am not this “great” Christian. I do not want to come across as an arrogant, I do everything right Christian, cause I do not! Forgive me if I have sounded this way.

“Disciples are created in the image of God, yet fallen and choosing to learn.”

As much as I want to dive into my theological position pertaining to this question, I will restrain and focus on answering this question in relation to what we have been learning in this class about discipleship.

Well, first breaking this down theologically will help get to how it relates to discipleship…

“Disciples are created in the image of God” – correct. Gen. 1:26-27. And yes, God created man “Above” animals to rule over them.

“yet fallen…” – also true…Rom. 3:10, Ecc 7:20

“and choosing to learn…” – here is the tricky part….

Here is where one (me) is included to delve into some deep theology regarding “Free Will vs God’s Sovereignty” and Man’s ability and God’s power….All of these are related.

For the point of discussion and summing things up (instead of dealing with ALL of the theology) I will say yes with certain qualifications and explain why I think that we “choose to learn.”

God created us like Him, in His image but are fallen because of our sin nature. On our own power we cannot find God. We cannot come back to righteousness without God first coming to us. God is Holy, Righteous, Good and full of Grace – and we are not. We cannot chose to learn and be righteous on our own. God is standing at the door of our hearts and knocking, if we answer and let God in then we can have the relationship with God and then we can begin to learn and grow.

God is the one who takes the initiative though –this is the “God’s Sovereignty” part. Each man can respond differently, this is the “free will part.”

Some will choose God and choose to have a relationship, which includes learning and growing. Others will not.

In response to some of the other ideas floating in the other posts I have read so far. I agree that sanctification is the process after salvation. It is the process of learning and becoming more like Christ.

While the salvation experience is a one- time event, but there can be a process that leads to that event. Salvation is not a process but in some instances a series of other events might lead to one’s salvation experience – this sort of process is not sanctification though. I also agree that one is either saved or not, but there are relative degrees of holiness.

In context of discipleship, this statement has a few implications:

1. If a person is not saved, then sanctification and discipleship will not be very meaningful. An atheist can learn a lot about what a Christian believes and what the worldview is but they will not get much out of discipleship if they are not in a relationship with the Lord.

2. This statement is a good starting point for someone who is recently saved or wants to start a relationship with God. A. Realizing we are fallen. B. Where do we go from there? The relationship. C. The relationship with Christ and the learning to be more like him…this is a broad way of defining “discipleship.

3. Finally this statement helps us distinguish the difference between evangelism and discipleship. First, we see that man is fallen and if man is not in a relationship with Christ they need to be introduced to Him first which then should lead to discipleship and sanctification. Secondly, it provides an honest outline for us…we should not simply “save” people and leave them…we are called to tell people about Christ and MAKE DISCIPLES. So this should change our approach to both evangelism and discipleship…by this I mean yes we need to introduce them to Christ but also lead them in the knowledge/learning/growth of discipleship. The two are to go hand in hand.

Random Thursday: Man Law!

Today’s random thought/resource is a blog I came across this weekend. I really liked the blog and some the videos on it as well.
The Blog is called MANSPEAK – I am not sure completely what the idea or the start of this blog is because their ABOUT page is not completed but according to the BIOS page, there are 6 young men who contribute to the blog regularly. As I have investigated the blog, the posts are focused on being godly men. They are reformed, believe in evangelism, and offer some great links and resources.
Some of my favorite things about the blog, besides the great posts, are the “Manly men of history” links to other websites ( Charles Spurgeon, Herman Bavinck, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, Martyn Lloyd-Jones,Thomas Watson)
Edwards, and their comedy page called MAN LAWS.

The Man Laws page is great. These bloggers sit around a table and talk about the most important Manly topics – coffee, tight pants, hugs, leg crossing, diets, and emoticons. I have posted a few videos at the bottom of this post, but go to the MAN LAWS. site to see them all. And subscribe to their blog for manly updates.