Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Roots Community

Mike and I are involved in a church plant in the Davenport/Haines City area.  This is the church that Mike was the interim pastor earlier this year.  The new Pastor as well as a crew of 20 or so moved up from Miami and West Palm this summer.   In these last few months we as a launch team have been learning what it means to plant a church.  My role so far has been with the children a lot of the time but now we have a children's director so a few of the other moms and I are freed to be in the service. Saturday night's service was GREAT!  

We learned about a, new to me, method we are going to participate in called triads.   It is not an evangelistic program. It is also not a curriculum focused on information and teaching. It is a group of 3 people that agree to get together weekly for approximately 18 months to hold one another accountable, encourage each other and learn from each other. It is a method for making disciples by, initially for us, learning to practice 12 spiritual disciplines. ( I would list them for you, but I don't know what the all are yet.)  Then hopefully after a year and a half or so, we are in a place to then each go make a new triad and disciple 2 more people.

I am so excited about this new opportunity.  Although I'm not real sure what to expect there is a longing in my heart to 1) be a better disciple myself and 2) to learn how to make a disciple.   In the last church we were at I was involved in an evangelism program called FAITH.  It was a neat program and I learned so much about how present the gospel of Jesus to people.  I personally led 2 people in a "sinner's prayer" to meet Jesus.  But one of the weaknesses of this particular program was any kind of real follow up that would actually come along beside these new believers and disciple them.  Sadly, I have never again made contact with either of these 2 individuals.  Nor do I know if either of them actually have a relationship with Jesus or if they just answered yes to all my questions to shut me up and make me leave or if it was a "fear of hell" yes. 

One thing that was taught when I started that program was that Jesus told us to make disciples. (Matt 28:19) He also told us that He would build His church. (Matt 16:18)  I think for most of my life I have been attending churches that had these two concepts reversed.  Churches that I have been a part of - God loving, bible believing churches - have been trying to build the church and hoping that Jesus (or the pastor) would make them disciples after we got them in the doors. Tonight we were challenged and encouraged to make disciples and (I believe) allow Jesus to build His church.  

There was one statement that stuck out to me that I hope I never forget.  The statement was "A successful disciple makes disciples".  It was a light bulb moment.  I felt like it answered so many questions for me.  It was confirmation to me from an earlier teaching this week;  you can't push anybody to Jesus - you have to get in front of them and lead them to Him.  

Discipleship isn't entirely about a teacher and a student.  I think I am beginning to see that it is more about coming along beside one another and walking through life together.  Isn't that a picture of what Jesus did?  He came along beside a couple of guys and said "Hey, let's walk some life together".   I am excited to grow with and walk beside the other 2 people in my triad and as we learn better what it means to be and make disciples.  

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and yes, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

2 comments:

Mike said...

"A successful disciple makes disciples." Yes. Light bulb for me too, Rach. So simple. But makes me think about my past. Where have I been? How foolishly have I spun my wheels?

Travis Greene said...

Rach,

This is a good post. Mostly churches suck at discipleship. I think we can look to church history (let's not be slaves to tradition, but let's not ignore it either) to see how Christians have done this in the past. Obviously that includes the book of Acts, but you can see that kind of discipleship continue in the monastic movements (I just posted what I think is a cool story from this time period) of the 2nd and 3rd centuries to St. Francis in the middle ages, through the Wesleys in the 1700's. Let me know how these triads work. Amy and I have been loving our small group (3 other couples once a week for dinner).

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