By CHRIS WATTS
We are called to be disciples and make disciples. This is the fundamental job of Christians. Many times we get caught up in programs and studies trying to figure out how to make disciples. Discipleship is a life long journey, and I think that when we put it in that context we can simplify the process.
Rather than trying to make disciples in the image of the newest program or even in our image, what if we walked through life with people and let the Holy Spirit do His work?
I believe we will see more spiritual growth if we stop trying to modify behavior, and worked to change life style. I would like to share with you three areas that I believe every healthy disciple has in their life.
First, a healthy disciple has an involvement in the community or corporate worship setting. There is a unique anointing that exists in coming together as a community for worship. It is in the corporate worship setting where we can make the greatest intercession for our cities and nations. A healthy disciple is involved and engaged in the gathering together of the saints. There is fellowship and accountability in community. Remember that the lion looks for the sick, weak, and isolated prey. We truly are stronger together.
Secondly, a healthy disciple has a place to grow spiritually. Rick Warren said, “You need a place to apply the Bible to your life, and that happens best in small groups.” I completely agree with him, and I think that a small group is absolutely needed. Simply put, we need people to go through life with us. It does not matter if it is a Sunday school class or a non-traditional small group; they are important. Small groups allow us to be challenged and held accountable. They also provide a safe place for us to ask questions.
Thirdly, a healthy disciple has a place to serve. We are called to show the love, compassion, and truth of Christ. Jesus did not die to get us out of hell and sit us in a pew. He died so that we might become like Him, and show the world His love. A healthy disciple is plugged in to the mission of the church. Being plugged into a service ministry allows us to share and apply what we are learning. It provides an avenue for God to challenge us to be bolder. This is the place where our faith comes alive, and is seen.
I encourage you to be faithful and consistent in attending worship services. It really does provide a place for God to change us. Also, find a Sunday school class or small group in which to be a part. Don’t walk through this life alone. Get plugged in.
Finally, I encourage you to find a ministry that you are passionate about, and get involved. No matter what your gift is, we can always use more volunteers. Be a healthy disciple. Worship together, grow together, and serve together.
Chris Watts is pastor of evangelism and outreach at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Greenwood, S.C.