Why We Must Make Discipleship Important…Again
Discipleship, or better known as, “making followers” has been long-lost as a Buzz Word to many of us who claim to lead an American church. And although the house church movement tried to emphasize discipleship and seemed to have gathered steam a few years ago, many were disillusioned by some of the leadership within the house church ranks. Instead of creating a place where true biblical discipleship took place as many claimed, many of these meetings turned into places of gossip, backbiting, and sometimes worse. Add this to the fact that a huge amount of local churches were getting away from biblical discipleship in lieu of a flashy weekend performance, many have left the church all together.
We still need the local church and it’s structure, we just need for it to actually work.
Our leaders must realize that any problems or reasons why the local church is not working lay solely at the feet of we leaders. We cannot afford to stick our head in the proverbial sand when it comes to making followers of Jesus, and we can no longer be afraid that we will lose congregational members.
Here are two things our church is getting very serious about.
1. We are going to make prayer a priority.
Like many churches we have people who pray. We might even be considered by many as a church who prays. The difference for us will be moving from a church who prays, to a praying church. In looking at the history of the Church it has always been that the greatest, most impactful churches have been those who have not ceased to make prayer a priority of who they are, and what they do.
Experiencing God’s best; miracles, prosperity, and influencing culture will never be separate from prayer. Our country will never be reached with the gospel unless God’s people are praying, and we at Journey Church are making a fresh commitment to this wonderful love journey we call prayer.
Our goal is to equip through teaching on prayer, equip through modeling prayer, and equip through prayer itself.
Beginning Sunday, February 22nd, at 6 p.m. and every Sunday evening following we will have a time of corporate prayer for our nation, our city, for our church, and all the churches of our city. I hope every one of you who read this will join us. Even if you are attending another church, you are certainly welcome to partner with us in prayer.
2. We are going to make discipleship a priority.
This sounds so much easier than it really is. Making followers of Jesus will always come with a level of pain for all involved. And as Christianity continues to become more confrontational of contemporary culture many churches will ditch the idea of following Jesus as something archaic, unenlightened, and even old-fashioned, thus embracing the ear-tickling, water downed religion of the masses.
We’re going to make Discipleship Important again, anyway.
This week the media is filled with the buzz of another church, this time an Evangelical Mega-church, whose leadership decided to embrace the homosexual mandate of acceptance. The leaders of this church have decided to embrace homosexuality as God-ordained, God-willed, and God-accepted. All one really needs to say to this is, “God help us.”
I have decided to take every person in my church who will go with me on a Journey of discipleship. I am tired of preaching week-in and week-out and seeing very little happen. I am no longer satisfied with status quo Christianity. I want our church to make a real difference in our city, and I have decided that we are going to make discipleship important again.
We will be launching what we are naming weconnect. Phase I of our discipleship mandate. No doubt the changes we will be making will cause a small stir. I understand that many people just simply do not like, nor do they appreciate change. I must note though, change is a vital expression of anything that is alive. We all need change.
Beginning February 22nd, 2015 we will begin weconnect, Journey’s discipleship journey. We will be CHANGING our earlier 9;30 service and moving it to our newly completed youth room where we will begin teaching sequentially on the basics of our Christianity. No music, no hype, no vision casting, just teaching, growing together, and learning to be better followers of Jesus. And yes, we will have PLENTY of coffee along with some sort of food. There will be different teachers for each subject, and yes, I will be going on this growth journey along with everyone else.
The word discipleship has become very obtrude to church leaders the last 20 years or so. We all know that discipleship is necessary, but we’ve not figured out how to effectively do it and our weekend performance at the same time. So instead of diving headlong into making sure every congregation member is in fact being discipled as well as making disciples of others, we have found it easier to keep it covered up with activity in some corner of the room. But eventually, and as always, the elephant will move and all the work we’ve done to keep it covered falls to the ground.
At the church I am the lead servant at, Journey Church in Rome GA, our leadership is more determined than ever to make true biblical disciple the special sauce of our church. Even with the huge amount of work that I see in our formable future, I believe the payoff will be insurmountable for our church and our city.
Our goal for 2015 is to begin the process at Journey to develop “Spiritually Mature Christians who do the Work of the Ministry, and Fulfill the Great Commission.
With all that said, I want to be extremely clear here. We are going to make discipleship and prayer important…again.
See you Sunday!
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