Wednesday, January 23, 2019
This week the missional theology discussion that Debbie and I have every Monday was attended by a whole group of people that wanted to be a part of the movement committed to the restoration of the individual, family and community at Harmony Grove UMC. We discussed the work that we are doing in the new Family Restoration Center and looked at the core principles of Discipleship, Evangelism and Mission that define Christ’s church. It was a perfect example of how discipleship manifests in a community of people that are willing to look at the need for change and embrace the uncertainty that that brings, trusting God to be our guide.
Discipleship, evangelism and mission will be the topics of the next three weeks sermons, helping us to ReCapture, as a community, what it means to be the church that Christ called us to be. We will be leading with discipleship and the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20 this week, looking at what makes Christian discipleship unique and how we can better participate in this fundamental command that Christ gave us.
At its core, discipleship is an invitation to a global restoration movement. It is a relational endeavor that requires willingness and commitment on the part of both those discipling and those being discipled. Discipleship needs to be intentional about helping people live as Christ modeled for us, being loving in origin and committed to the idea of accountability. While we as Christians are not in the results business (that is the job of the Holy Spirit), our discipleship efforts do come with an expectation of transformation. Finally, our discipleship efforts need to be both theologically driven and missiologically sound, meeting people where they are and empowering them to take appropriate ownership of those barriers that have kept them separated from God and their fellows.
Our take away for the week is a challenge. Are you participating in a relationship that meets these criteria from both the guide and student perspective? Are you both investing in someone else and learning from someone that models Christ’s ministry and behavior? If not, why? Remember, the Great Commission imperative to Go out into the world and make disciples by teaching and invitation to restorative community is not a seasonal statement that we grow out of.