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The DISCIPLESHIP Project

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Some of Jesus’ last recorded words include the Great Commission.  Jesus told the disciples, and us, to go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey what Christ commanded. 

How It Began

Last fall, as a GROW study, a group of men met to study and discuss the concept of discipleship and what it means to make disciples. Bill Hull’s Conversion and Discipleship was the text for the class.  While we did not agree with everything in the book, we were challenged to reconsider some of our thoughts about salvation, the Gospel and what God desires of us.  We concluded that God is calling Christians to make disciples.  God is leading us to be intentional with this and we want to invite the church to join us in this call.

Discipleship

Discipleship occurs when someone answers the call to learn from Jesus and others how to live his or her life as though Jesus were living it.  Making the decision to follow Jesus is allowing Him and His ways to have priority in someone’s life.  It is the role of the Holy Spirit to grow Christians in their relationship with the Lord.  The Word of God, prayer and obedience to His teaching are the primary tools God uses to grow His people. 

Both Jesus and Paul relied on personal relationships as a primary method of developing Christians around them.  Discipleship, as Jesus demonstrated, is relational.  It is the result of intentional friendships.  In I Timothy 4:7, Paul tells Timothy to “train yourself to be godly.”  Paul developed an intentional relationship with Timothy to help nurture and train him in intimacy and growth. 

How can First Baptist be more intentional in helping church members develop specific relationships with the purpose of growing in their relationship with the Lord?

Again I say, we are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may share the fellowship and the joys we have with the Father and with Jesus Christ his son.  1 John 1:3 Living Bible

The Discipleship Project

The basic idea is to increase awareness of and participation in discipleship among the members of First Baptist.  This is not to say that we are not currently involved in discipleship, but we can do better.  In our group, we recognized areas in our church where we could be focused and intentional.  For example, when we baptize someone, how do we come along side of that person?  When a couple gets married, where do they go if they have questions, concerns or problems?  When new people join our church, who befriends them to make sure they get connected and find relationships to help them grow. 

If intentional relationships produce discipleship, we want to encourage church members to seek out relationships.  We should seek out relationships with Christians who can guide us in our own personal walk with Christ and we should seek out relationships with those who we can coach in their walk with the Lord.

Again I say, we are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may share the fellowship and the joys we have with the Father and with Jesus Christ his son.  1 John 1:3 Living Bible

For more information on how to disciple or be discipled, contact Jeff in the church office.

–  Vic Rhoads, KC Kimbrough, Vince Loftis, Chris Randall, Chris Chavez, and Jeff Lanningham