Here's a short eBook designed to get us thinking about Discipleship from a different perspective. Instead of trying to programmatically make disciples, we need to reorient our thinking toward loving others as Christ loves others.
1. How am I doing loving the people whom God has already placed in my life? What do you notice? What thoughts come up?
2. God, how can You be this good? Practice the discipline of receiving the new identity that comes from adoption. This may not come naturally to you, and you might need to really practice it! But by practicing, we can start doing away with the belief that we have to earn something to be “in.”
The beginning of this book draws us to consider the "human paradigm" where we are taught that by doing X we can achieve Y. This is reinforced throughout our entire life, at least in this country and in our educational context. We are convinced that if we get a good education we will get a good job when means we will achieve happiness. Really?
This bleeds over into our churches and shows up in places we clearly did not intend for them to appear. We have a choice: 1) since "programs" are self-centered we will distance ourselves from anything that looks like a program or 2) we can change the focus of well-intended efforts to show the love of Christ while we learn to be like Christ.
I'm in the process of developing a Community Needs Assessment while reading this eBook. No coincidence in my mind. If discipleship is rooted in loving others, knowing what our community needs (and working to meet those needs that resonate with our church) is a wonderful way of connecting the dots. Find a need, fill it with disciple-making, Christ-loving followers of Jesus.
There's a lot more to discipleship than the few words in this book, but I believe that it is simply intended to start the conversation in a refreshing direction. It's about loving God and loving others more than checking off things on a list. Lord help me to love others and see how reading your word supports that goal, how the Bible teaches me to be Christ-like.