Friday, August 10, 2007

Some Thoughts on Discipleship

I've been hunting around a number of blogs and have been reading some contributions on the topic of discipleship over at the House Church Blog that I though I would copy and paste here in the next few posts. But first I thought I would share some of my current thinking.

Discipling people has become a significant theme for me and I have been realizing that discipleship starts well before someone actually starts following Jesus. I could also say following Jesus starts well before someone makes a decision to commit their lives to Him. In that sense I am discipling my neighbours with my words and actions and attitudes before I ever have a "spiritual" conversation with them and I am certainly discipling my children as they are growing up - both before and after they make a decision to follow Jesus. My relationship actually changes as they become older from that of parent/child to mentor/mentee, discipler/disciple and to that of more of a peer relationship as they begin to match and surpass my spiritual maturity.

In my mind, the two main challenges of discipleship in our culture are:
a. the battle against consumerism - that tendency to measure our worth by the things we have or the temptation to pursue things instead of find our fulfillment in God.
b. the temptation to equate being a disciple with doing a list of Christian things like being a faithful church goer (complete with all the other church-going requirements), reading your Bible, saying your prayers, witnessing, etc. A disciple should instead be measured by his/her ability to listen to and obey God, the quality of their love for God and neighbour, their humility, and a number of other hard to measure qualities that can only be discerned by the close relationship established in a family context.

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