• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Call it what you want

Rebecca and I recently participated in the Gen12 conference in Australia. The conference was built around the theme of: “Building a culture of discipleship”. The plenary sessions and workshops sought to demonstrate that discipleship was the core task of the believer.discipleship

A quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer set the tone for the day: “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

What I found interesting was, that in the midst of this whole day on discipleship, people always got around to talking about planting local communities of believers. A ‘lone ranger’ disciple is an oxymoron. In participants’ minds, it is impossible for discipleship not to bear fruit in the establishment of more and more local churches.

Within our agency and numerous other agencies, I have often heard that people have difficulty relating to the term: ‘church planting’; that this vocabulary is somewhat outdated. Yet, during a whole day with students, faculty and local pastors talking about discipleship, ‘church planting’ or the growth and establishment of more communities of believers, kept coming up in conversation.

Perhaps the precise words may not be best suited to communicating who we are and what we do. However, what we are about is sharing the narrative of Jesus with others, seeing them put their trust in Him as their only hope, being discipled to grow up in Him, and coming together with other believers to offer up praise to their Lord and Savior. This is who we are.

We may work through a variety of means to share that message, disciple people and bring them into community, but our ultimate desire is for disciples to be and to live in community.

However you want to say it, multiplying disciples and communities of believers is our purpose; it is our vision.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks David, I would add the thought about the disciples reproducing themselves by bringing the Gospel to others. Seems this is another area of weakness in the church in places where I have been connected.

    • Agreed! The Gospel by nature drives us to want to see the same impact of Christ’s work in the life of others. Too often the focus is individualistic, and keeping to myself what should overflow to others.

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