The word “disciple” seems like a pretty “churchy” word. What I mean by that is, church is about the only place you will hear the word “disciple.” “Christian” on the other hand, is a word we hear thrown around very often. If you do a search of the word “Christian” on Google it will report over 1.3 BILLION results. That is a lot of content for a word. However, if you type the word “disciple” on Google you will receive only 33.8 million results. Why does that matter? I conjecture, because “Christian” is a word that has a lot of confusion surrounding it, even in Jesus based religious groups. (For a great group study you may want to check out “Christian: It’s Not What You Think” by Andy Stanley).
The word disciple is a very clearly defined word. A disciple is a student, or apprentice. In Jesus’ day a disciple would follow their teacher everywhere. They would listen to the teacher. Ask questions and adopt the view of the world the teacher had. The disciple would observe and willingly adopt habits and methods of living the teacher had.
The 12 Apostles were disciples of Jesus. They had followed Jesus and learned from His teaching and lifestyle. They had adopted His view of life and the actions and habits of Jesus. Their lives had been transformed into the image of the Son of God. After Jesus’ ascension they were sent into the world to make other disciples. They in turn transferred all they had learned from Jesus to other people. The Apostle Paul pointed back to this reality in his statement, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
As a teaching/preaching pastor I am committed to calling people back to the life of discipleship. The life of following Jesus. I am committed to using the gifts that God has given me as I perform my function in the body of Christ to cultivate an environment of disciples (Jesus followers) that are Connecting with Christ and one another, Growing towards maturity in the new life Christ gives us inside of Him and Serving in the name and reputation of Jesus Christ.
Jesus commissioned the church to make other followers of Himself (disciples), this required the people He sent to teach others what He had taught them, He instructed them to baptize the disciples they were making into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and promised He would remain with us as we did this work.
Litchfield Christian Church will increasingly become a church community that has disciples making other disciples by Connecting people they come in contact with to Jesus Christ and one another, Growing in a life full of the compassion and understanding acquired by accepting the new life and identity made possible in Christ and Serving our community and the world in the name and reputation of Jesus Christ.
How This Will Happen
The leadership in Litchfield Christian Church will equip the disciples in our body to create Connection groups that will
- Connect with Christ through the Word and relationship with one another
- discuss what they are learning as they Grow in following Jesus
- share victories and struggles with one another
- pray with one another
- find ways to Serve in the name and reputation of Christ
- Serving our community
- Serving one another
- Serving the ministry of the church
- Serving in personal ministry
Leading and equipping the flock that is among us to establish this culture will allow us to become a church that multiplies disciples of Jesus Christ.