“My calling is to be and to make disciples of Jesus Christ through preaching, teaching, and living the Word of God. No one can make disciples without being a disciple.” I adopted this motto years ago. My heart is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ which overflows to disciple others and leads our church to effectively make disciples who are transformed from the inside out.
Discipleship lies at the heart of the local church. Discipleship lies at the heart of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus started his mission by calling ordinary people to follow him. Discipleship was Jesus’ plan to launch a movement that would change the world. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
My heart for discipleship largely stems from three men who all poured their life into mine. Before I had graduated from college, Bodie (my youth pastor), David (the missions pastor), and David (an elder who led a college bible study) in my home (Presbyterian) church in Wichita, Kansas all played important roles in my discipleship – sometimes at my request, but often through their intentional living. They not only talked about the faith – they lived it. And they let me peer into their lives and how they followed Jesus from close range.
I feel that I have received an embarrassment of riches from Godly men that I can never repay. I can only pay it forward.
The beauty of being and making disciples is that this life-long process is never done in isolation but in the context of relationships. If we are to be formed into the image of Christ – to become “little Christs” as C.S. Lewis once said – we need one another. We need the community that Paul called the ecclesia – the local church. How gloriously strange that God would entrust our discipleship to other believers in this quirky place we call the church! Yet, I – for one – am glad He did!
Grateful to be with you on the journey of discipleship,