Intentional Discipleship

Love God. Love Others. Make Disciples.

Thanksgiving arrived earlier than I’m used to this year. It gives us this squirrelly week that we have now; it’s after Thanksgiving but it’s still November. So, instead of turning my thoughts toward Christmas (which I’m wont to do the week after Thanksgiving), I will bring my last thoughts on discipleship for this calendar year.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to intentional discipleship. This term can refer to two different concepts. First, intentional discipleship to a local church means that they have a priority and method for making disciples. If we are honest, most churches are not intentional about making disciples. If any disciples are made its in spite of the church’s focus, not because of it. To be intentional, then, is to prioritize discipleship and build the church’s practices around this priority.

A second concept see intentional discipleship in a personal way; we are each to be disciples of Jesus on purpose. This purposeful living finds the believer seeking to discipline his or her life so that they become more and more like the Christ. They seek to love like Jesus, act like Jesus, and reproduce themselves like Jesus.

The more that I examine my own life, and the lives of others around me, I find that I tend to look more like my culture than I resemble Jesus. Even my “Jesus-following” seems to be the flavor of my culture, not of Scripture. Personal holiness is almost not even a thing among us. A hatred of sin and oppression can scarcely be found. Weeping for the lost never happens.

So, as I look to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” and “present everyone complete in Him” (my two driving motivations/tasks as pastor), I must grapple with intentional discipleship. I need to be an intentional disciple. I must call our people to personal discipleship. I must also focus our church in such a way that making disciples is our primary focus.

As a teaser, here is what a biblical disciple looks like: Love God, Love Others, Make Disciples. We submit ourselves to both the Great Command and the Great Commission.

In Him,
Pastor Jim