It seems like everyone is talking about discipleship today. Pastors are preaching about it, conferences are devoted to it, and church members are interested in it. What is my response to the recent interest in making disciples? Honestly, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, the dialogue that is taking place thrills me. For the first time, people, particularly ministers, aren’t looking at me with a confused look on their faces as I speak of our mandate to make disciples.
On the other hand, the dialogue taking place scares me. My concern is that discipleship will become a fad like the Z Cavaricci’s of the 80’s or the fanny packs of the 90’s (aren’t you glad those are gone).
So what steps can be taken to hedge against discipleship becoming another 40 day study or the program du jour? Read More
Guest post by Brooks Ward and Kalai Leong
Discipleship can be defined in two ways. The first explains Discipleship as a literal walking with Christ in a relationship with Him as Lord. In the second, Discipleship is an intentional relationship where knowing and investing in another person or persons is the ultimate goal and purpose. Often, we discuss Discipleship as an action based on a responsibility given by Christ to His Church. This is one of the most imperative commandments Christ gave His Church. Discipleship is the key to fulfilling the Great Commission faithfully and thoroughly. Read More
“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of few or the one," said Mr. Spock in a legendary sci-fi moment from the Star Trek films as he was letting go of his life for the sake of his fellow crew members.
Although there are obvious overtones to this statement and ones like that have been applied to Christian studies, this principle is not automatically fitting for all circumstances. In fact, many times the Bible presents suggestions that Spock might call “quite illogical.” One such principle is what I call the ten-to-one principal. Jesus might have called it the ninety-nine-to-one principal [Matthew 18:12–13]. Read More
This is part 1 of a 4 part series.
One of the most well-known and widely recognized religious paintings is Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper. His work of art has captivated the minds and hearts of Christians for centuries. Da Vinci devoted three years of his life (from 1495-98) to this masterpiece during the Italian Renaissance period. It is intended to depict the Last Supper, particularly the moment after Jesus announced that one of the Twelve would betray Him (John 13:21). It displays Jesus in the middle of the table, flanked on both sides by His twelve apostles. James is immediately on His right; John is immediately on His left. Judas is seated next to John. The work has been scrutinized by everyone from pastors to artists and mathematicians for its symbolism, theological insights, and psychological complexity. In May of 1999, an effort was made to restore the painting to its original glory after being damaged by exposure over the years of being displayed, and it was completed beautifully. The Last Supper remains one of the most important paintings of the Renaissance and, perhaps, human history. Read More
Guest Post by Paul Laso
If someone were to pole 10 people on defining the term discipleship you will be hard-pressed to get the same definition. In fact, you might leave more confused. I have noticed, over the years, the same thing with the term faith. A word often spoken about in Christian circles everywhere. Faith, however, is a word that can be one of the most difficult to define for many Believers. Greg Gilbert affirms this when he says, “Faith is one of those words that’s been misused for so long that most people have no idea what it really means. Ask someone on the street to describe faith, and while you might get some respectful-sounding words, the heart of the matter will most likely be that faith is belief in the ridiculous against all evidence.” To be fair to those who are outside of the faith they shouldn’t have to provide an exact definition of faith (much less a Biblical one). We as Believers know far too well that our faith isn’t belief in the ridiculous, yet why do we struggle so much to define what is such a cornerstone to our faith? Read More
After intentionally making disciples for more than 30 years, I have come to understand that disciple makers should see themselves as shepherds. In other words, when we make disciples it is what is known as a “shepherding” or “pastoral” ministry.
Although some have abused this, I believe it has merit and should be considered. We’ve all heard of stories where shepherds have been guilty of forcing or manipulating those in their care to do what they want them to do by saying “GOD” told me to tell you this or that. Read More
I know the Internet was nonexistent in the first century, but the concept of hyperlinks was everywhere. I first met the late Dwight Pryor, founder of Judaic Christian Studies, at a Haverim school in Dayton, Ohio. The subject of the four-day retreat I was attending was “The Messiah and the Apostle,” in which we were comparing Jesus’ theology in the Gospels to Paul’s theology in the Epistles. My roommate for the week was a completed Jewish rabbi who believed in Yeshua as his Messiah. His understanding and knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures was unparalleled. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed by the room assignments. He, however, was unaware of what was coming. For the next three days, he entertained questions from a young, eager-to-learn seminary student.
The first night, he caught me off guard with a question, “How do you share the Gospel with a lost person?” I rattled off a few chapters and verses from the Romans Road that would have earned me an iron-on patch in AWANA. When I turned the question back around to him, he said, “I start with the fall in Genesis and continue through the Old Testament.” Read More