…continuing this short throw-back series using the metaphor of a rockslide on I-40 on the NC/TN border that happened in 1997. That rockslide caused a lot of detours for months, and in the pre-GPS days, you had to pay attention to the road signs.
When a rockslide closes the highway, and you have to take a detour, you learn to rely a lot on road signs…
The School Zone sign signifies learning. “Learning” in the Bible is discipleship. Discipleship is a process that begins after conversion and continues throughout a believer’s life. Discipleship calls for our undivided attention and commitment to follow the commands of our Lord. Discipleship is not an option for any church or believer. Christ mandated it in the Great Commission. To disciple others is to obey our Lord’s command; to do otherwise is to disobey Him.
To understand that discipleship is not an option for believers and that it involves taking up one’s cross daily to follow Christ is to begin to understand the work of each believer and the church.
Ephesians 4:11-13 perfectly expresses God’s will for every believer as He builds His kingdom:
He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. (The Message)
He calls and appoints persons with special gifts to equip the saints for their work in building up the body of Christ. Sadly, many churches do little to disciple believers when our Lord is ready and willing to guide and empower us to accomplish the task.
Maturing discipleship means that believers are living for the Lord in all areas of life. They take the Bible seriously and without question or compromise. The life of Christ is the center and focus of their lives.
Discipleship is God’s plan for maturing His children. We are saved by God through His grace and given to the church for care and obedience. Discipling believers requires commitment, patience, obedience, because growing and maturing believers requires time.
part of a series taken from presentations 16 years ago, introducing the Purpose Driven Church principles to a church leadership team
brought back today to connect to Auxano’s release of the first Team UP resource, featuring the Top 100 Quotes from Purpose Driven Church, with applications and exercises from Church Unique