The nature of discipleship - Freshly Expressed


Fresh Expression’s second gathering was held at the First Baptist Church of Hightstown.  One of the key subjects centered on discipleship.   A quote from Missiologist Alan Hirsch's The Forgotten Way was central to the conversation,

When dealing with discipleship, and the related capacity to generate authentic followers of Jesus, we are dealing with that single most crucial factor that will in the end determine the quality of the whole-if we fail at this point then we must fail in all the others.
As we consider fresh expressions of church, it is crucial that we reexamine how discipleship is developed in our ministry context.  Many people view discipleship as simply a component of church life, especially for new believers.  It may be limited to Sunday school classes, books, lectures, conferences, and other forms of formal, institutional instructions.  While these methods of discipleship may be helpful to spiritual formation, they are not the only ways. These forms of training usually take place within the confines of a classroom where students are merely passive recipients.  Discipleship, as Jesus demonstrates is one that is modeled and embodied by the leader.  The students in a trusting and genuine community follow in the steps of the leader/mentor.  As Jesus and his group of twelve journey together, understanding of the Kingdom of God and their role in their community become more evident.  In the context of authentic relationship, discipleship takes shape.  For Jesus, it is an intentional, purposeful labor of love.   Effective and fresh expressions of church in our context, then, will be the fruit of discipleship.  May, we, the leaders, humbly walk together with our students and experience the power and glory of our living Lord.