Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some Thoughts on Discipleship 5

The first three views were from Neil Cole, Wayne Jacobsen and David Garrison. Now Roger Thoman at the House Church Blog posts more of his collection of ...

Thoughts on Discipleship Pathways

Curtis Sargeant

Curtis, former missionary to China, is also a student of Church Planting Movements. He encourages us to consider that discipleship is not a knowledge-based process, rather it is about modeling a lifestyle of surrender and obedience. He asserts that the reason Paul was able to leave behind growing disciples in a short amount of time is because they were in contact with a man who was “thoroughly in love with Jesus Christ, filled by the Spirit, and completely surrendered to the Lord’s control.” Curtis contends that Paul’s lifestyle “painted an indelible picture in the minds and hearts of the new believer-leaders…”

Curtis also suggests that a simple church, with the above characteristics, will have a dynamic transformational impact just by being the church:

“A simple group in love with Christ and with each other, sharing freely with each other and with a lost world and constantly in his Word and in prayer. ‘Together,’ discovering more each week about him and his will. If they continue to abide (John 15) in a relationship with Christ and the Body (church), they will have everything they need. The Holy Spirit will be their resident teacher…”

Curtis’ book is available free online here. He asks that when quoting from his book you make reference to his website:

Alan Hirsch

Hirsch, in his book Forgotten Ways uses the term “action-learning discipleship.” He suggests that we should look at the way Jesus discipled:

“As soon as they are called he takes the disciples on an adventurous journey of mission, ministry, and learning. Straightway they are involved in proclaiming the kingdom of God, serving the poor, healing, and casting out demons. It is active and direct disciple making in the context of mission. And all great people movements are the same. Even the newest convert is engaged in mission from the start; even he or she can become a spiritual hero.”

Hirsch describes his own missional training network:

“[We] host an internship, where the intern is placed in an environment where he or she is somewhat out of his or her depth. We do this because when people are placed in a situation requiring something beyond their current repertoire of skills and gifts, they will be much more open to real learning. It’s called jumping in at the deep end. The vast majority of the interns’ learning is by ‘having a go’ and actually doing things.”

A good summary of Hirsh’s grasp of discipleship is his statement that “mission is the catalyzing principle of discipleship.”

The introduction to “Forgotten Ways” is available online here.

Much here to chew on!

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