September 14, 2020

See John 21:15-20
“…Do you truly love me? …Take care of my sheep.”

The ending of Matthew’s Gospel is often quoted: “Go and make disciples of all nations…,” but in reality all four of the Gospels end with their own unique call to discipleship.
Now “discipleship” is one of those words that is often tossed about the church and we might say to ourselves, “I know what it means but I’m not sure how well I can put it into words.” So try on this on for size:

biblical truth + compelling relationship = discipleship

I can’t recall the website where I found it, but I appreciate its succinctness. Imagine an ever-maturing and deepening understanding of God and His ways – and to have this lived out in a meaningful relationship in which we truly let our guard down so that another person can speak into our soul in Jesus’ Name. That is discipleship. It is investing in another. The result? Changed lives.

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We yearn to continue to deepen the culture of discipleship among us. This is why the elders have been sharing testimonies; why we value our confirmand-mentor relationships; why we are experimenting with “covenant connectors” when people become covenant partners here, and so on.
To this end, consider: the respected “Sticky Faith” at Fuller Youth Institute alarming states, “Roughly 50% of students walk away from the church after they graduate high school.” [] 50%!! That is Half! This is why some of our covenant partners are “adopting-a-senior” from our most recent high school graduating class. Imagine a 4-year written covenant commitment, which involves regular prayer, an annual social event, a quarterly meeting for the mentors, care packages, investing in a relationship of trust, and more. That is one of the things that is happening among us now. That is the kind of discipling we desire. That is meaningful. For everyone involved.
“Do you truly love me? …Take care of my sheep.”

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Father, what should these “compelling relationships” full of Your Truth look like in my life? Who do you want me to disciple – and be discipled by?