This post is part of our "Preparing To Re-Launch as Redemption" series
Jesus ends his earthly ministry with the famous words,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The ministry of Jesus was about preforming miracles that brought restoration to people, offered glimpses of the way things are supposed to be, and revealed him to be the Son of God.
But that was not the full substance of his ministry. He had also been training his disciples. They had been with him through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the miraculous, of the last few years. Jesus gathered them from all walks of life and all education levels. When Jesus asked them to follow him, they had no idea where he would lead them. During their time together, Jesus had been very intentional about teaching them, and giving them opportunities to apply what they had learned. Sometimes that went well, other times it had not. But it was all a part of the plan.
The training that Jesus gave them was critical, because they were going to be the ones upon whom Jesus would build his church. In his last words, he asks his disciples to make disciples. We are called to do the same. The call to make disciples is the call to help them more deeply experience the life-changing love of Jesus Christ.
This fall, Redemption Church will be offering a church wide discipleship program. We will be using curriculum developed by Tim Keller, and Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City entitled, “Gospel Christianity.” This is a 10-lesson curriculum, that will have some homework (and that’s okay). Every two weeks, our discipleship groups will meet to discuss what we have all been learning together. Our hope is that everyone will find a group to attend.
A men’s group will meet Saturday mornings during the regular men’s study time. On alternating Saturday mornings, there will be a women’s group during their regular study time. A third group is being offered on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm at the church and will be for men and women together. The groups should run about 90 minutes.
Why should you attend a group?
Because disciple making impacts our homes. As we are conformed into the image of Christ, we come to better understand what it means to live as a son or daughter, single or married, husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister.
Because disciple making impacts our workplaces. As we grow as disciples of Christ we are empowered to better live out the ethics of the kingdom, we are strengthened to endure difficult situations, we are equipped to share the gospel, and we learn how our work is not only a part of God’s plan for the flourishing of our communities, but is a part of our worship. We also learn the importance of leading and serving, of dealing with conflict, and of working together.
Because disciple making impacts our communities. As we grow as disciples we are strengthened to live as “elect exiles (1 Peter 1:1).” We learn why and how we are called to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare (Jer. 29:7).” We learn how to love those around us, even though they may disagree with us and we may disagree with them.
But most of all, disciple making impacts us. Through being conformed into the image of God, we come to rest more fully in the gospel. We learn how to bring our joys, our grief, our fears, our insecurities, and our sin, before God’s throne of grace.
We look forward to seeing you in a discipleship group this fall, and growing together into the disciples Jesus is using to extend his life-changing love.