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November 15, 2007

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Joel

Success = changed, saved lives.

I pray we never lose sight of this.

jay hardwick

joel -

agreed. but, what defines a changed life? baptism? church attendance? giving? bible thickness? :-)

what are the defining characteristics that we need to look for in the people we are reaching?

Clay

According to John 15, a true disciple is one who abides in Jesus and follows all of His commands. What a tall order---but a worthy one nonetheless. Cetainly a process, so much more than an event. We like to judge successes in event-type tangible, concrete means that are more easily measurable. In a process, the successes are not as cleanly measured because the nature of those successes are more like a slow metamorphosis. We must also be careful to what we put a label of success on, b/c a lot of times, a success label only gives something the right to stop growing in its process--feeling like it has arrived.

Joel

changed life = living a changed life in obedience to Jesus Christ, emmersed in servanthood, clothed in humility, bearing the fruits of the Spirit! AMEN or OH ME?

Mike Thompson

This is the question many are dealing with right now. If we are to make disciples, then what are we as pastors supposed to be doing? The one thing I see disciples doing is making other disciples. Let's face it, we do not have time for others with out busy schedule unless our lives have been transformed by God. I am reading Unfinshed Business by Greg Ogden right now. Good book that deals with the equipping pastor. He also deals with the aspect that there must be a paradigm shift of the institutionalized church from the way ministry is perceived to a disciple making mentality. I believe conversations like these are the begining and I love to be part of them. But we must also put our words into practice.

Paul Sims

I think a lot of people have been asking this question for quite some time. Bonhoeffer wrote quite a lengthy book on this topic. Basically, Bonhoeffer stated that only a man who follows the command of Jesus single mindedly and unresistingly can enter into discipleship. Seeking the costly version of grace not that which is cheap. Many opt for the cheap form of his grace, not willing to totally throw off the trappings of the world to settle for what they believe to be total release and acceptance of the yoke of Christ. What we get instead is a form which we believe to be true, that allows us to question Christ and the obedience He requires. The world view towards this is ok you've sinned, but now everything is forgiven so you can now stay as you are and enjoy the consolation of forgiveness. Therefore, grace and discipleship go hand in hand. for grace does not justify sin, it justifies the sinner. so we cannot just sit and accept Christ and feel that it is enough. Just like everything else we try to achieve this level at the cheapest price possible. So we end up trying to achieve it for our purpose not God,s. As Bonhoeffer said, Only they who obey can believe and only they who believe can obey. Peter had to step out of the boat first before he demonstrated that he believed. Yet he had to believe or he would not have stepped out of the boat.

Once we become a true disciple, we may not know where we are going or what God has in store. That is part of the spontaneous belief that is called for in discipleship. Most did not plan out their response, Christ called and they responded. those who do not are like the rich young man. Our need to question the commandments and the idea of right and wrong shows the free will. Having a conscience shows that we have this free will or else we would not have to question. But yet this also shows our disobedience in that we can not freely and spontaneously respond to obey God.

So, are we creating disciples? I believe that is left up to your own determination of discipleship. Are we leading people to totally submit to Christ and not allow the ways of the world tint our vision of it. Today we have allowed grace to be gained to easily in that people do not want to sacrifice for the church or for faith, if they can get it without a cost involved. This allows them to rest secured in their ungodly living believing due to the worlds view that they are truely there. This keeps them from having a costly grace because the world has deemed it to mean to speak of it accordingly.

If we do not leave the world when called, then we are not placed into a situation where we truly acknowledge faith, and therefore we cannot fully believe. For discipleship is not an offer that man makes to God, but is an answer to his call.

I guess thats all.

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