Our mission at First Church is to make Christlike disciples. One of the ways we pursue this is to specifically lead people along the path of discipleship.
When the Son of God began His work here among us, one of the first things He did was to make disciples [literally “learners” or “apprentices”]. He approached individuals, looked them in the eye, and called them to leave their old life completely. He invited them to follow Him, to learn from Him, and to help Him. His disciples were to make His agenda their only agenda, to give up everything for Him, to live with Him, and to die with Him.
This was no course in night school or a part-time job. Discipleship was all-encompassing, all-consuming, 24/7. They gave up all security, comfort, and purpose outside of Jesus. They ate with Him, lodged with Him, worked with Him, walked with Him, watched Him, and listened to His words all day, every day. They were immersed in Jesus Christ and were reshaped by His life.
Before He returned to the One who sent Him, Jesus commissioned His disciples to do the same: to disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and teaching them all they themselves had learned from Christ (See Matthew 28:18-20.).
This is still the calling of Christ’s followers: to be a disciple and to disciple others. We are to challenge and be challenged, to encourage and be encouraged, to teach and be taught, to mentor and be mentored, and to serve together. We are to be instruments of the Spirit as He reshapes us into the image of Jesus. We are to nurture our personal relationship with the Father, the relationship that was Jesus’ focus, confidence and constant strength.
Discipleship is still radical, all-encompassing, and all-consuming. It is living life from and through and to Jesus Christ, and helping others to do the same.
*article originally released on October 12, 2014*