Had a great time last night with our Home Group! We've been going through Rick Warren's study on the Purpose Driven Life and last night was on the topic of Discipleship. Rick has a great way of breaking it down and showing the simplicity of God's growth plan for us.
Many times we complicate this thing called Discipleship. Often, in the name of Christian Discipleship, we lay a heavy burden on someone who has just accepted Jesus, like all of a sudden, there is a Humungous list of "do's and don'ts" they need to follow! O, we start innocently enough and often a new believer in their zeal will anxiously follow anything they are told when told forcefully enough! This type of "Discipleship" is really just a form of abuse... It's not a formula, a list of rules, or a systematic theology... most of the guys who tried to live that way missed Jesus all together... O yah, and they nailed Him to a cross!
To really be a disciple of Jesus starts with a relationship with Him. There was not a lot of complication for the men who followed Jesus on this earth some 2000 years ago. They were probably one of the most messed up group of guys on the planet in their day! My kind of guys... : ) They simply walked and talked with Jesus every day. They did what He asked them to do. They listened to Him. They often argued with Him (and no lightning bolts!) and did life and ministry with Him. They saw the amazing and supernatural done by Him. They experienced the grief of seeing Him die. They received the Holy Spirit as a result of His resurrection power. They were witnesses of Him and saw His church multiply like wildfire. They became bold spokesmen of His church. They gave their lives to the service of His church. Many gave their lives for Him.
I am always amazed at people's life stories like the ones that were shared last night in our Home Group! God is so at work in lives all around us. Stories of near-death, healing from past hurts, and reaching out to offer help to those in need... This is Discipleship, emulating what Jesus did and wants to do through us everyday. Doing life with Jesus. Doing life with His church; our brothers and sisters.
That's true Discipleship!