We started looking at the subject of discipleship a few posts back. I want to continue that thread and train of thought as I believe it is in many churches a critical missing ingredient in the way we program and plan our ministries. Now, please understand, I am in no way advocating that the church I pastor, or I have in any way figured this out. We are not even walking yet, we are merely crawling, but we are beginning to experience the joy of brothers (and sisters) meeting, praying, learning...together. I am taking a group of men through a study and walk through of Grudem's Systematic Theology. We have a facebook group where we do much of our communicating and planning. One f the most significant obstacles to systematic discipleship that is both relational and intentional is the fact that our schedules are so varied and so different. It is tough to get everyone together, and I am of
the opinion that as a pastor, the last thing I want to do is pull my men away from their families for another 'bible study". So we use Facebook. I have started a group page, it is private, and we interact there. I can assign readings, post additional docs, the guys can ask questions and post comments. It is really convenient, and it works well. However, nothing takes the place of face to face fellowship, prayer, and study. I endeavor to meet with my men; however, many can, from time to time, whether it means coffee in the morning, breakfast, lunch or whatever and whenever venue we can find. Today I was able to meet with three of my men as we shared a meal, simply visited, studies from our text the subject matter that we all are looking at and also we took time just to pray. We laughed, poked fun at each other, talked about our day and our lives, addressed the particular readings and doctrinal issues at hand, and then we prayed. What joy to share with these brothers. This is the goal of discipleship that we might not only grow in our love for God but for one another as well! The ultimate goal is that these men will also begin to gather a few men themselves to pour into and to share with. Wade Trimmer states the equation this way; "Personal Relationship + Mutual Partnership + Spiritual Apprenticeship + Maturing Friendship = Fruitful Discipleship!" Now let there be no mistaking the reality of this-this involves hard work! Intentionality is the key. We must make time and take time to meet together, pray together and serve together. There is joy in our meeting together. In the relationships, we cultivate we find fulfillment as we link our lives together to grow in grace and learn from the Lord and each other.
Intentionality is the key. We must make time and take time to meet together,
pray together and serve together.
I look forward to future meetings with my brothers for it is through these kinds of meetings that we grow in grace and truth. These meetings must include; 1) The study of God's Word 2) The encouragement of good reading and Christian books. 3) Prayer 4) Fellowship 5) laughter 6) Tears...you get the idea! Are you meeting with a group of men or women? Are you seeking out to lead others? Be challenged and encouraged to do so. It is a joy to meet, pray, and learn...together.
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