2. Leadership requires dependence on God. Pray before you go sharing. Pray before you eat. Pray before you study the Word of God. Pray...these leaders showed me the tender heart and dependence on God that is so necessary before we minister to others.
3. Both of these leaders focus on the Word of God - this is where their approach and strategy comes from.
My two guys who are making disciples: one is a pastor and the other is a campus Crusade leader. They have separate strategies and ideas are both founded on the Word of God. Both see the connection between evangelism and discipleship. Both have a lot of creative ideas.
The main difference between the two is that my Campus Crusade disciple has more of a "closed" approach to his discipleship team. This might be because he does not have time to disciple everyone and that is true.. He focuses a lot of time and quality on those he does disciple! And He is a busy busy man whom has other Crusade responsibilities to attend to.
Well, first breaking this down theologically will help get to how it relates to discipleship…
“Disciples are created in the image of God” – correct. Gen. 1:26-27. And yes, God created man “Above” animals to rule over them.
“yet fallen…” – also true…Rom. 3:10, Ecc 7:20
“and choosing to learn…” – here is the tricky part….
Here is where one (me) is included to delve into some deep theology regarding “Free Will vs God’s Sovereignty” and Man’s ability and God’s power….All of these are related.
For the point of discussion and summing things up (instead of dealing with ALL of the theology) I will say yes with certain qualifications and explain why I think that we “choose to learn.”
God created us like Him, in His image but are fallen because of our sin nature. On our own power we cannot find God. We cannot come back to righteousness without God first coming to us. God is Holy, Righteous, Good and full of Grace – and we are not. We cannot chose to learn and be righteous on our own. God is standing at the door of our hearts and knocking, if we answer and let God in then we can have the relationship with God and then we can begin to learn and grow.
God is the one who takes the initiative though –this is the “God’s Sovereignty” part. Each man can respond differently, this is the “free will part.”
Some will choose God and choose to have a relationship, which includes learning and growing. Others will not.
In response to some of the other ideas floating in the other posts I have read so far. I agree that sanctification is the process after salvation. It is the process of learning and becoming more like Christ.
While the salvation experience is a one- time event, but there can be a process that leads to that event. Salvation is not a process but in some instances a series of other events might lead to one’s salvation experience – this sort of process is not sanctification though. I also agree that one is either saved or not, but there are relative degrees of holiness.
In context of discipleship, this statement has a few implications:
1. If a person is not saved, then sanctification and discipleship will not be very meaningful. An atheist can learn a lot about what a Christian believes and what the worldview is but they will not get much out of discipleship if they are not in a relationship with the Lord.
2. This statement is a good starting point for someone who is recently saved or wants to start a relationship with God. A. Realizing we are fallen. B. Where do we go from there? The relationship. C. The relationship with Christ and the learning to be more like him…this is a broad way of defining “discipleship.
3. Finally this statement helps us distinguish the difference between evangelism and discipleship. First, we see that man is fallen and if man is not in a relationship with Christ they need to be introduced to Him first which then should lead to discipleship and sanctification. Secondly, it provides an honest outline for us…we should not simply “save” people and leave them…we are called to tell people about Christ and MAKE DISCIPLES. So this should change our approach to both evangelism and discipleship…by this I mean yes we need to introduce them to Christ but also lead them in the knowledge/learning/growth of discipleship. The two are to go hand in hand.
But let’s not forget other examples where proximity was distanced. Paul wrote letters to a half a dozen churches. Peter wrote to seven churches. Their ministry was to oversee all of these churches! It is difficult to argue that they were unsuccessful, because both of these apostles were pretty successful. Indirectly, someone can have a ton of impact without proximity. Two ways in particular come to my mind…the first is financially. Many churches today indirectly minister to others worldwide by providing food, shelter, resources, medicine, and missionaries to the lost. The second is through distance relationships. For example phone or internet ministries. There are many ministers that do have an impact in some way through these means, also the radio is another one.
Sure these letter, radio, financial, internet, and phone ministries are not FULL, all-encompassing ministries. They are indirect ministries in a lot of ways and when you look that the full structure of each of these ministries there is some necessary proximity between someone, somehow. (Paul did not write letters to nations he could not travel too, radio stations can only broadcast so far, etc.) Although it is not exactly the same proximity we see with Jesus and the disciples.
I will say that from what we have been learning in class proximity optimizes ministry. I have been preaching and learning that Jesus’ model for making true disciples is the way to do and I still believe that. Following Jesus’ model is not the only way, but I think it is the optimal method for ministry and making disciples. Similarly, look at “family” as a model for ministry and discipleship.
I like family as a model for ministry because families “do” life together. Jesus did life with his disciples, at every interaction along life’s path there was something to learn, something to think about. Whether they were in the temple, on the road, in a home, or in a garden the disciples were learning from Jesus! Family is a natural environment for ministry.
Powerpoint from DMNS 500. On Organization as “structure.” Liberty University, 2009.
How I personally like to explain this approach is multiplication. Paul wants to make others like Him (in a spiritual sense). He says “what you have seen from me, what you have heard from me, what you have learned from me - put these things into practice. Do what I am doing! As teachers we need to be at that level where we can boldly proclaim that message to our flocks as well!
What is this multiplication that I keep referring to? Basically I think that Paul and Jesus both taught similarly about making disciples. We are to “go and make disciples of all nations…” Paul and Jesus both command us to win others over for Christ. We are to share the Gospel with others and multiply the number of people in the Kingdom of Christ.
One of the biggest problems we see is that the kids are there for the wrong reasons. The parents, kids, teachers, and admins are NOT all on the same page. For example, the parents want their kids in a Christina school so that they are protected and not in the “evil” secular world. In this instance the kids, most of them, are only at this school because the parents give them no other choice. This kind over sheltering is actually bad for Christians and Christian schools. There is no unity. The teachers, admins, and some of the students who truly want to express their Christian faith in real life have great dreams and plans to “be the difference” and are founded Biblically. They want to grow their own faiths and challenge other students. They want to reach out to their lost friends and restore their community. But not everyone is on board. Sorry that was a rabbit trail of my own observation. I’ve spent time talking about the mistakes certain Christian schools have made, but let me say that when Christian education is done the right way, it is a beautiful thing.
Christian education comes from a Biblical worldview, so some of the obvious difference from public education is the beliefs in major social issues and scientific issues. The Bible is a book that actually can be used and believed in at a Christian school so evolution, abortion, gay marriage, and other sins (that the public school would never dare talk bad about) are brought up in the Christian school.
One of the better features of a Christian school compared to a public school is the fact that school is not limited to institutional learning of the basic classes and skills (art, gym, science, math, reading, writing, etc) but in the Christian school the students are taught about personal growth in their lives relating to their spiritual faith as well as more personalized focused on personal growth in other areas too (like physical shape, mental health, etc). In public school this care is skipped over, for the most part…too many kids, not enough time. The “personal” health of students in public school is assumed to be healthy.
The Great Commission is our marching orders from Jesus himself! Let’s look at it together:
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
First, we see that this is very important! Jesus is saying that God has given him all the authority to say what he is about to say. First to what he says is that we are to make disciples, not just worshipers, although that is a part of it. And the disciple is baptized not just in Jesus’ name alone, but the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. So, yes, disciples are to worship Jesus but disciples are to worship the one true God who is three-in-one (the Trinity).
Also Jesus asks us not just to worship as disciples but to learn. Personal growth is required. We need to teach them all things that Jesus has commanded. While worship is one thing Jesus commanded, he also taught a lot more!
Rick Warren gets three purposes from this commission: Evangelism (telling others about God), Discipleship (personal growth and learning, becoming more like Christ), and Worship (honoring God).
And finally, “I am with you always.” Jesus is encouraging the disciples here to obey him. Obey me and I will never leave you. And it is true even for us today, as the Holy Spirit is always with us!
Blonde on an Escalator Very Funny video - watch this!
Ball Droppings is an addicting and noisy play-toy. Balls fall from the top of the screen and bounce off the lines you are drawing with the mouse and it creates different sounds per bounce. It is a lot of fun!
There is Waldo!
There is some hope for my generation.
Reclaiming the Mind article: The Coming Evangelical Collapse and the New Calvinism
Mercury—the tiny planet that causes big problems for evolution
- The True.Origin Archive -
Some Real Scientists Reject Evolution
Evolution and the Peppered Moth: Misleading Textbook Example There are a lot of misleading "facts" that have been proven false n, a lot of assumptions that are false, a lot of lies in textbook about evolution still today!
Ghost Chili = The World's Hottest Pepper? Iv'e heard many claims to the world's hottest pepper...so is this true? IDK
Interesting article: "History" of status messages.