We've heard the concept of "discipleship" used often at North Way over the past few years, so as we head into a new season of ministry, it may be helpful for us to all to understand what that looks like in our small groups and in our personal journeys. One easy way to understand discipleship is simply to look closely at the life of Jesus and then act like him. That's what a disciple does! A disciple is simply someone who is:
being changed by Jesus
and is committed to the mission of Jesus.
How is this relevant to our small group experience? Each of us needs to evaluate how well we are following before we can actually lead others to the heart of Jesus. Are we being changed by Jesus? Are we praying and asking the Holy Spirit to show us where we need to grow or repent or be bold? Are we obeying when we hear? Do we allow the Spirit to empower us to step into our unique role in the story of God? Being transformed by our own love affair with God is the best way to be equipped to lead or disciple others.
Discipleship, or making disciple-makers, is naturally folded into the life of a true disciple. In fact, if you check our definition, a true disciple doesn't have to consciously decide to make disciples; it's a natural overflow of a relationship with Jesus. Disciples are on mission with Jesus, and Jesus' mission was to draw all people to himself. When we fall in love with Jesus and are being changed by saying "YES" to him, the lifestyle of discipleship is natural.
Specifically with regard to our small groups, discipleship isn't a mystery - it's simply the conscious decision to step into the lives of those in our groups and help them to follow, be changed by, and commit to the mission of Jesus. Here's what that might look like in our groups: building authentic relationships, purposefully reaching into the lives of our members and investing in them, breaking open the Word of God together so that we can know Jesus better and be equipped to share his truth, sending forth your members to do the same for others.
Jesus said, "Go and make disciples." Let's love Jesus and those who are entrusted to our care, be changed by that love, and go forth and share it!
Director of Adult Life, Wexford Campus