If you’re like me, or rather like the old me, you would cringe at the mention of discipleship. It sounds like an old person term and something the people in the Bible did way long ago. Now, this post may not be for everyone but it’s here to challenge us youngsters to find out what “true” discipleship looks like and seek to experience it.
“Converts are not disciples. And unfortunately they rarely become disciples. But they have replaced disciples in today’s religion of Christianity. Converts believe stuff because they want to get to a place.
Disciples are different. Disciples are following a person. That person is leading them toward a destination of sorts, but the journey is about more than moving from one place to another. Where they are going and who they are following actually start to change who they are becoming. The destination actually starts happening along the way.” – Dave Rhodes, Redefining Normal
Ok, so why is discipleship necessary?
Well, look at Jesus: He had his 12, within the 12 he had 3. What did those three do? They reached the many. As did the rest of the group but Peter, John, and James were key to the movement of this New Way. Paul had his disciple Timothy and also did great works. The common factor: investing in others. Why? Because sometimes sharing the Gospel isn’t enough, you must share your life.
What does a modern day discipleship look like?
Right now as part as our leadership program at Calvary Tuscaloosa we are in these groups called “Huddles”. These groups are outside our lifegroups (Bible studies) and are headed by a Huddle leader that is an older student or young adult. Each Sunday we share our lives together, coming together over a meal and resting. What’s really happening is that we are witnessing the life of this Huddle leader and effectively seeing the Spirit move in them which moves us to become more like Christ. We believe that we aren’t supposed to be alone so we throw ourselves into a community that heals. This Huddle leader is discipling us so that we may effectively disciple others and effectively share the Gospel through sharing our lives.
This method is new to us at Calvary and may be new to you. However, this isn’t the only method. Find relationships with someone older and wiser to be invested in by. This is more than an accountability partner. This is someone who is willing to share their entire life as provided by the Spirit in order for you to reflect characteristics of Christ back into the world. Ultimately we start experiencing a relationship with Christ just as his main three did when he walked the earth.
I truly encourage you to look into true discipleship. Resources like Redefining Normal by Dave Rhodes or Building a Discipleship Culture by Mike Breen have helped me out a bit. Discipleship like this can only be achieved effectively in consistent community. I challenge you to get plugged in somewhere. I challenge you to experience the Gospel in new ways and I hope that is in the form of true discipleship. For more information on discipleship, I frequently write about it on my blog Expecting Kairos.
[Hey everyone, Matt here. James Waites is this great person of whom I’ve known for quite a long time. He is doing all kinds of awesome things over at the University of Alabama, up to and including being, himself, awesome. I wholeheartedly encourage you to peruse his blog, as it really quite a theological marvel. We hope to periodically guest post on each other’s blogs more often. You can view my entry over at Expecting Kairos here.]