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Posted by on April 21, 2012

More and Better disciples, it’s our mission.

How do we make More and Better disciples?
I can’t prescribed a process that churns out disciples on demand, but i can describe the framework we are using. This framework consists of 4 principles:

  1. Understand what Christ’s life looked like
  2. Reflect Christ’s life with your life daily (personal discipleship)
  3. Join in christian community to strengthen personal discipleship (community discipleship)
  4. Continue growing

This is not a process, it’s not sticky or catchy – no alliteration, it’s not new.  These are the principles we’ve been using at Grace for 19 years.

Christ’s life:
As disciples we are always moving toward a Christ centered life; we strive to reflect Christ in all we think, say and do.
A Christ centered life is one which reflects Christ.  We can reflect Christ by following the example He left us while here on earth.   In His adult ministry, 5 activities dominated Christ’s time:

  1. He shared the good news

(Matthew 9:35, Mark 1:14, Luke 8:1)

  1. He shared life with his disciples

(Matthew 4:18-23, 8:23, 9:10, 10:1)

  1. He cared for and helped people in need

(Matthew 4:23, 9:22, 12:15, 14:14, Mark 1:34, Luke 4:40)

  1. He lived a disciplined life

(Matthew 4:2, 26:36, 21:42 Mark 1:35,12:24)

  1. He had a personal relationship with his heavenly Father

(Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12, Matthew 3:17)

Personal discipleship:
If we want to reflect Jesus in our life we too should be able to reflect what we do through these activities.  This pursuit is our personal discipleship journey and it is as individual and unique as each one of us.  It is reflected everyday in everything we do and say.

Christian community:
We believe the community we call Grace Fellowship exists to strengthen and encourage disciples to grow closer to Christ.  The things we do together as a church community do not replace personal responsibility to reflect Christ in our whole life daily, but helps us learn to reflect Christ well in how we live.
This is our collective goal: to develop community that promotes growth in personal discipleship.
A community can be as many as tens of thousands or as few as two.
The five areas we focus on in community at Grace are:

  1. Weekend services – Sharing the good news, worship, encouragement
  2. Doing life together – Youth, kids, family, groups
  3. Caring and outreach – missions, caring, serving, counseling.
  4. Spiritual disciplines – classes, coaching/mentoring (accountability)
  5. Relationship with God# – the NOT to do list – leave margin for God and others

I said earlier i can’t prescribe a process for discipleship, but we do have a process for growth.  The growth process isn’t unique to Grace or church, there’s hundreds of thousands of pages written on how people grow, but we can simplify the growth process down to three high level steps:

  1. Learn
  2. Practice what you’ve learned
  3. Teach what you’re mastering through practice

At Grace Latham we communicate this process as : Get it > Live it > Give it.
The growth process ties our framework together; church events are designed to help us “get it”, if we practice daily what we are learning we “live it”, we can then begin to “give it” to others by helping them get it, thereby ensuring the growth process continues.

My father used to say “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.  This principle is also true for how we spend our time and resources, if we don’t plan for something our time and resources will be squandered on anything that comes along.

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