Wow, what a great week at SOAR 2013. It was amazing to watch 2500 students study Christ’s call to discipleship.
As I think back on the week, a few last-minute thoughts go through my mind. So, here’s what I would want to leave with everyone who attended:
1) Discipleship is happening more than we realize. Because Christ is the Chief Disciple-maker, we is coordinating “hidden discipleship” in the lives of his children. Many times, we miss it. But I would encourage us all to open our eyes to the people who are pouring into us spiritually -even if its not in an “announced” discipleship relationship. Many times, these are the greatest influences that occur in our lives. (Romans 8:28)
2) Discipleship must be intentional. Just because Christ is weaving together discipleship in ways that we don’t understand, it does not give us an excuse to refrain from making efforts to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). If there is any element that I see missing in discipleship today, it is intentionality. The fact that Christ is weaving everything together should be more motivation to be intentional -not less motivation. It means that we can pour ourselves into others and trust Christ to use our efforts in ways we can’t possibly imagine (I Cor. 3:6).
3) Disciple-makers must desire to see everyone mature in Christ. (Col. 1:28) The goal is not for humans to make disciples who are independent masters of the faith, but instead, to make disciples who are dependent life-long learners of Christ. Its about progress, not perfection. We must have a desire to see every person we lock eyes with move closer to Christ. Sometimes this is in a one-time encounter, other times it is in week-long, year-long, or life-long relationships. Sometimes it is in a formalized, announced discipleship relationship, other times it is in an informal life-on-life relationship.
4) The local church must provide a community of discipleship. (Matthew 28:20). Its interesting how Jesus connects the call to “make disciples” to the command to “baptize them.” The idea is simple, disciples need to continue growing in a nurturing discipleship community of mutual edification.
5) Every believer must sit in the middle chair. Its time to get on the bike. Christ calls us to sit in the middle chair so that we always have someone sitting on one side of us who is pouring into our life and someone on the other side whom we are pouring into. Its a part of the discipleship community that lasts a lifetime as we all grow together. Discipleship is for life.