Like many pastors, or church leaders, I have this deep drive to make disciples. When I say disciples, I’m thinking beyond information alone. I’m thinking about transformation. The goal of disciple-making is helping people become like Jesus.
Remember the words of Jesus regarding disciple making? Jesus didn’t say teach them everything I commanded, instead, he said teach them to obey everything I commanded. He said everything you heard and saw me doing, practice these things. It seems that discipleship is about every believer being transformed into the image of Jesus. Discipleship is about Jesus Christ becoming Lord and master over all of life, whether we eat, drink, or whatever we do.
Information is a part of that process. Don’t hear me wrong, we need to be informed. However, information alone is not producing the kind of disciples that Jesus has called us to make.
Instead, Jesus invited his followers to JOIN HIM as they lived life together. This is precisely what I believe we are called to do as well. We are called to offer our very lives as a spiritual act of worship.
As believers in our missional community regularly slow down together to challenge each other as they live into the teachings of Jesus, we have established some rhythms that we all want to hold each other accountable to living out. EVERY TIME we get together we talk about these rhythms. Our discipleship flows out of these rhythms we have all committed to walk out together. We made an acronym to make these rhythms more memorable. We call these rhythms REACH. Let me describe them to you:
Rest: I am going to slow down and retreat with God each day in prayer, reading, and meditation.
Eat: I am going to eat with at least 2 people every week. People who are not a part of our community, and people who are. The Son of Man came eating and drinking; we want to follow in his footsteps and share the table with other believers and with those who don’t yet know Jesus.
Act of love: I am going to bless at least 2 people every week. People who are a part of our community, and people who are not. God has blessed us to be a blessing. And it’s better to serve than to be served.
Confess: I am going to admit and share where I feel I’m struggling and have fallen short each week so that I can find healing and forgiveness in Jesus and with those around me. We want a humble community, not a performance-based arrogant community.
Home: I am going to learn, bless, and have fun with those whom I live most closely. This is about seeing discipleship and transformation happen out of your ordinary every day life. It’s about walking with Jesus with your wife and kids, or being on the journey with your roommate.
This is not, and I repeat not, a legalistic list of stuff that we need to do in order to achieve God’s favor. Rather, we believe that Jesus should be lord over all of life which means discipleship impacts not just what we know but how we live. Every week as we share, we all admit our imperfections, and share in what areas of our life we are struggling to find freedom in Jesus.
The beauty is, our teaching flows out of conversation about rhythms. In the past, discipleship for me was about telling people what I believe they need to know. So I would dump all this information on people. I could be teaching on baptism while three marriages are falling apart. But now, as we discuss rhythms together we are aware of where and how we need to be discipled and to disciple as a spiritual family.
Everything we read in Scripture can be brought into these rhythms. We find ourselves discipling people in their area of weakness, and making disciples of Jesus not ourselves.
I could easily write 10 chapters on how this plays out in our communities, but I wanted to give a brief description of how we are attempting to make disciples. I hope this was helpful, If I am able to encourage you as you strive to be more intentional about discipleship, I would be honored to be a part of that journey with you.
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