Discipleship. Such a common word within Christianity, but do we truly understand it? Think about everything you have ever heard about discipleship. Was it presented as a program or like a 12 step program where you complete this and congratulations you are now a disciple of Christ! WOOHOO!! Or perhaps you have heard the word discipleship but have never been taught anything about it.
A few weeks ago the leadership team presented plans for the future of GCC. Everything that was mentioned can be summarized in three words: Missions, Evangelism, and Discipleship. These are three ways that we know we must improve upon as a church to be faithful to Christ and build His church.
Discipleship is of utmost importance to the life of the church. It is so important that the last command Jesus gave to the Apostles was to go and make disciples (cf. Matthew 28:19-20). The word we see in scripture disciple means a follower, a learner. So the question we need to answer is a learner and follower of what? Simply put we are to be followers and learners of Christ. Paul writes the church at Ephesus in 4:20 and says that is not the way you learned Christ and then follows it up with how they did learn Christ. Discipleship from beginning to end must be about Christ, if it is not then we have missed the mark and we need to go back to the drawing board.
In the coming weeks we will be posting more about discipleship and what it means Biblically. For now we will leave you with the truth that a disciple is a follower and a learner of Christ.
One thing GCC has already begun is weekly groups for men and women. We are only a couple of weeks into it but these groups have been going GREAT so far. We want to use these groups as a tool to foster discipleship. Discipleship is going to take intentional effort on the part of the leaders as well as the members. Discipleship will never be over for the Christian.
We also must ensure that the weekly groups have a set purpose and a set direction. There is not a set program we as a church can do that is discipleship. We want to be learning in these groups we also need to be applying what we learn in these groups. If we can focus on these four things we will do well in these groups.
1: We are there to learn Christ and to Exalt Christ and to grow more in His Gospel. If these things are not happening then we are wasting our time.
2: Each group should spend time in prayer individually before the group each week and at the group.
3: Each member of the group and the group as a whole needs to think how can I apply what I am learning from scripture in these groups? Or how can I apply the Godly wisdom of another saint from this group? How can I use the material to grow closer to Christ and to grow in Holiness?
4: Accountability. Each member of the group should be holding one another accountable. This can be done throughout the week making sure everyone is prepared or if anyone needs help with the reading. Perhaps someone shares a struggle they have and you have gone through it and may be able to lovingly point them to Christ in their struggle. Iron sharpens Iron.
The groups are not a program but a course we have set to make better disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.