Our top priority is discipleship, so we’re trying to shape the organisation, activities and culture of our church around making disciples.
Discipleship has a similar meaning to apprentice, so when we become a disciple of Jesus we enter into the process of learning to live a life like his. This is an important understanding, because often we can think discipleship is about learning more information or something that happens in special classes or courses.
The Bible tells us that discipleship is for everyone (in fact, it could hardly go to more effort to show us this is for ordinary people in the midst of their everyday lives). It is the process of moving on from being a believer to learning how to be the person God intended.
To make a religious sounding word more understandable we define a disciple as someone who:
- Is developing a deeper loving relationship with God,
- Which then increasingly saturates every area of their whole life,
- Which then overflows more and more into the world around them
We imagine this as a process, each element leads to the next and this loop happens over and over again as we increasingly discover God is more and more involved with us, in our lives and the people and situations we find around us.
To help grasp what could be an abstract concept we also have a way to assess our discipleship - how secure we are.
Because being a disciple isn’t just about doing things, by thinking about our security we get to think about who we really are in the core of our being - what the Bible calls our heart.
When we look at Jesus we see he was so incredibly secure in every aspect of his life, never pretending to be something he wasn’t, never trying to cover up, never treating certain people differently, never defensive, never giving into fear, never manipulating or control people.
There are five areas:
- Secure in God - that he lavishly loves us. We don’t need to earn it or deserve it. Nothing can separate us from God’s love
- Secure in the Good News - God is working good into our lives. Even the worst news in our lives can’t compete with God’s good news.
- Secure in Church - Church is a family where we are accepted as we are, no need to pretend or qualify. It is a place of welcome, love and acceptance.
- Secure in our Everyday Lives - there is no area of our life that God isn’t interested in or involved in. There is no secular/sacred divide.
- Secure in Mission - we are Kingdom people, whose presence, words and actions should bring God’s Kingdom to the people and situations around us.