WE EXIST TO MAKE DISCIPLES
A disciple is an apprentice
A disciple has put their faith in Jesus and given their allegiance to him as Lord
We want to see hundreds of people becoming disciples and as we give ourselves away for the sake of others, we want to anticipate the arrival of God’s Kingdom in our community life together
OUR DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY
Jesus made disciples in a straightforward way.
First he made an IMPRESSION for the Kingdom of God which attracted people to him and his message. He announced the arrival of God’s rule and it was good news. People were healed, set free, forgiven and restored. People on the margins, the poorest and the last likely were included and welcomed, often before others. Jesus was good news. He turned water into wine and fed thousands. Everything he did made a difference in the way you’d expect it to if God had turned up
As people came closer, more open and more inquisitive, Jesus then made an INVITATION to them. He invited them to follow him, to become one of his apprentices and to learn from him how to live a new kind of life. He was honest and straightforward with people pointing out what allegiance to him would look like and what it would cost.
Not everyone chose to accept his invitation. Some walked away. But others made a decision for him, gave their life to him and put their faith in him. This was a moment of INTENTION. No-one became a disciple of Jesus by accident. Everyone knew if they were or weren’t one of his apprentices. And they counted the cost before deciding.
INTENTION was followed by INITIATION and just as he was baptised, Jesus commanded everyone of his disciples to journey through the same ritual and experience. Baptism was a powerfully symbolic act. It marked someone out as a ‘follower of the way’. It was an act of washing and cleansing. A new beginning. It was a moment of dying and rising. It was a marker of allegiance, a new covenant marker. It was sign that you belonged to Jesus’ new family.
Being a disciple of Jesus was a whole-life thing. Entering the Kingdom of God meant bringing every part of life under his rule and reign. This included attitudes and thoughts, feelings and emotions, the past and the future, money and sex, and all our relationships. Everything. And it meant letting Jesus teach them how to live in the Kingdom, how to abide in him.
IMMERSION in the community of disciples was non-negotiable. Submitting to Jesus’ teaching and INSTRUCTION was essential. IMITATION of Jesus was vital. Together these three aspects of discipleship remain the focus of our lives once we have decided for Jesus. We immerse ourselves in the community of believers. We routinely and regularly submit ourselves to the teaching of Jesus and scripture. And we focus our lives on developing practices and habits in the pattern of Jesus. Rhythms and routines that enable us to become like him from the inside out.
CONNECT / PARTICIPATE / GROW
A simpler way of communicating our pathway, in three words is CONNECT / PARTICIPATE / GROW. This is the process we are on and the one we want to invite others to join us in.
The method of our discipleship is simple:
BE WITH JESUS
BECOME LIKE JESUS
DO WHAT JESUS DID
This is our DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY
And we commend it to you