The Discipleship Pathway: Equipping PeopleEphesians 4:1-16
J. Josh Smith
January 17, 2016
You need the church. God has predestined His children to be conformed into the image of Christ, but His means to accomplish this is the local church. There is no Christian growth apart from the church. It is also true, however, that the church needs you. Since each member of the church grows only when all the parts work properly (Eph. 4:16), others in the church need you exercising your gifts so that they can grow. The church must be central in your life!
However, merely going to church is not enough, neither is merely staying busy with church activity. There are two potential problems that may prevent Christian growth in the church. First, the church may have no plan for genuine Christian growth and may instead be satisfied by merely keeping people busy with church activities which do not ultimately make them look more like Jesus. The second potential problem may be that the church does have a plan but the people do not engage in it.
We want to challenge you more than ever in 2016, but we only want to challenge in ways that will make you look more like Jesus. We don’t necessarily want you to be busier, but we want you to think strategically about engaging in ways that will result in your Christian growth. We have a clear plan for your growth called the Discipleship Pathway, which comes straight from the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We want to equip you to live a life of worship, a life in community, and a life on mission. Each element of the pathway is a lifestyle, not a program. Also, each element of the pathway is essential, which means if you neglect any of the three major elements, your growth will be hindered.
Ask yourself two questions this week: (1) Which of these three elements of discipleship (i.e. life of worship, life in community, and life on mission) do I need the most growth, and (2) what activities are keeping you busy but are not making you more like Jesus? What does God want you to take up this year, and what does He want you to give up? Let’s work together this year as the body of Christ to grow more into the image of Christ so that we can fulfill the mission of Christ.
Community, Discipleship, Fellowship, Mission, Servanthood, Stewardship, Worship