Almost every church has some type of vision or mission statement. Most churches have come up with a way of restating the Great Commission in Matthew 28. The words of the statement are full of popular and familiar vernacular that bring this 2000 year old statement into the context of these individual churches. Near the end of almost every one of these statement is that church’s way of stating that it should be busy make disciples. Phrases like fully devoted followers, Jesus at the center of people’s lives, a biblically focused life, all-believers, people on the path to God, etc. However this idea is stated, each church and each church leader is driving at the idea that we want to produce disciples. Everyone (who is trying to pursue the Jesus and the teachings of the BIble) agrees on this. The tension is this…what does a disciple look like. How do you quantify this?
Our church, Grace Fellowship, is no different. We want to produce disciples of Jesus Christ. And in our attempt to work alongside God and His Spirit in the production of disciples, we want to be sure we have a target of what this looks like. If we do not have a target to shoot at, it is impossible for us to ever hit the bullseye. So we have attempted to remedy that by trying to clearly understand the basic traits/principles of what a disciple of Jesus looks like. Now, I know, and our other leaders know, that there is never going to be a list that comprehensively explains or encapsulates a disciple of Jesus. And simply put, being a disciple of Jesus is about returning to God by giving up your life, acknowledging your sin, repenting and then learning about and living out the kingdom of God. But how does that look?
Over the next few weeks, I am going to share one by one a list of traits/principles of believers who surrendered to Jesus. This list is an attempt to flesh out what a disciple looks like.
#1 – Engage in regular conversation with God
Disciples understand that a relationship with God is exactly that, a relationship. There is dialogue. Dialogue from us to God and from God to us. It is an ongoing, daily dialogue. Not simply a dialogue of desperation or of need. But a conversation of sons and daughters to a Father. Conversations of a friend. Conversations of a wiser counselor and healer to someone who is broken. Conversations of rejoicing…of correction…of support…of encouragement…of questioning. But there is conversation. Christians pray. Not because we have to, but rather because we want to. We understand that our wills need to be conformed to God and those talks with Him help that. God is not just to be sought in the “oh crap” moments of life, but to be engaged daily and moment by moment.