Category Archives: Discipleship

Can We Start A Discipling Movement In Churches of Christ?

[As soon as I posted this I realized I was off on the wrong foot. If it is a movement, we won’t start it but we would have to embrace it. And I believe God is moving us in the direction of discipleship and discipling in line with the Great Commission (which Barna tells us half of Christians don’t even know what that term means!).]

Something has to change. I heard this all week at Pepperdine. I have heard it in countless conversations since then on the phone and through private messages and emails. Many of our churches are floundering, directionless, and in need of purpose.

Something has to change. We can’t keep going on like we have in the past. First, our purpose has to change. It used to be our purpose was to correct people to our way of church. We largely gave up on that effort and people care far less about that than they used to anyway. But we never replaced that purpose with anything viable. We lost our purpose but continued our forms without the same convictions we had in the past.

We are clearly in decline as a whole. I hope we can turn that around.

To be perfectly clear there are many organizations affiliated with Churches of Christ that are working on discipleship. Many, many, many. They are doing great work. The resources exist.

How do we get this to translate to the church where you worship? How do we get a movement wide revival among autonomous churches that never played well together in the first place?

I believe the answer is prayer.

Revival always starts with prayer.

If you don’t know the right direction, pray.

If you are tired of the way things have been, pray.

If you see unhealthy systems all around you, pray.

If you long for a better tomorrow, pray.

If you want to know what to do differently but can’t put your finger on it, pray.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. ” – James 1:5-8

I cannot tell you God will answer your prayer with one word – Discipleship. But I can tell you that if we aren’t making disciples, we aren’t doing what Jesus said to do and I believe this is at the root of our problem.

I believe we are ready for a movement that is infused with grace and the Holy Spirit. I believe we are primed to take this Bible that has been so precious to us and teach it to those who have never heard. The fields could never be more ripe for the harvest than they are right now. We just have to pay attention and be faithful.

What is the Hardest Thing About Following Jesus?

We will all answer this question with different answer. I am curious how you would answer it. For me it is not being in charge. I don’t get to set the direction. I don’t get to chart the course. Jesus is in charge and he is on the move. I get to follow him whereverContinue Reading

Ten Serious Questions for Serious Disciples of Jesus

Who has my full attention? Who do I view with judgment? How often do I pray for my enemies? Would others around me know I follow the Lord? Why or why not? Who or what is my life lived in submission to? Do my relationships have any connection with the Christ? What do I doContinue Reading

Discipleship Sermon – Shifting Church Paradigms and Culture

Here is the video of the sermon I preached last Sunday at Westside Church of Christ in Bakersfield. It ties together much of what I have been talking about here in one sermon. This has forced me to put some of the pieces together a bit more succinctly so I share this here in hopesContinue Reading

Enmeshment, Anxiety and Discipleship

There were several instances where the disciples show signs of enmeshment with each other and with others. These are times when their value gets wrapped up in the value of others. We see this in their arguments over who is the greatest in Luke 22. We see this in John 21 when Peter’s death isContinue Reading

Non-Hierarchical Discipleship

One of the hangups people have on discipling are the abuses of the past. They point to the Boston movement and shun even the idea of discipling due to some abuses of hierarchical and high accountability measures that characterized other movements. Does discipleship have to be hierarchical? Where one person is clearly the more matureContinue Reading

Discipleship and Our Enemies

In Luke, Jesus gives a sermon very similar to the Sermon on the Mount that we call the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49). One of the main points of this sermon is how we treat our enemies. We are to: 1 – Love them2 – Bless them3 – Pray for them4 – Be generousContinue Reading

Good Friday, Cross Bearing, and Following Jesus

Jesus said if we want to be his disciples we must take up our cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23). Jesus said this while he was on his way to Jerusalem to suffer and die on a cross. Good Friday reminds us that Jesus is our leader and the leader always goes first. HebrewsContinue Reading

Discipling on the Road to Jerusalem

“Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem” – Luke 9:51 Right after Luke tells us this, Jesus called more people to follow him – while going to his death! Jesus never stopped calling and making disciples. Jesus never lost his focus. Here is what Luke tells us in 9:57-62, 57 As they were walking along theContinue Reading

Discipleship in The Beattitudes

Who should we consider to be the one blessed or favored by the Lord? The poor in spirit The mourner The meek The one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness The merciful one The one who is pure in heart The one who makes peace The one who is persecuted for being in the rightContinue Reading

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