Discipleship = The process of helping others to come along with you into God's story
I’ve been thinking about discipleship a lot lately. Not only because its my primary focus at Christ Church Santa Fe, but because I’ve been confronted with a disturbing trend. What I have been confronted with is not merely the lack of training in or even exposure to discipleship, but a lack of desire, interest, or even willingness to engage in it. [Not talking about my church specifically, but things I'm seeing or conversations I'm engaged in on a broader level]
I’m not talking about “volunteerism” or “small groups”, but when someone is practically begging someone else to show them how to know God, walk with Him, grow in their relationship with God, there seems to be a tendency to delegate the task to others.
Where did we get this from?
The task given to the church – and that means all believers in Christ – is the task of discipleship (cf. Matthew 28:18-20). Not schooling in a particular methodology, or training in a specific program or curriculum, but sharing our lives in such a way that others are growing closer into a relationship with God, or living out their relationship with God in maturing ways.
Its a call to enter into God’s story, live in light of it, and help others do the same. Is this really such a terrifying thing to engage in?
This quote from Stanley Hauerwas was helpful to me in thinking about this:
“We are called to be disciples and even to count ourselves among the righteous. Our call is not a general admonition to be good, but a concrete and definite call to take up the way of life made possible by God’s redemptive action for us in the cross. To be redeemed, as I suggested above, is nothing less than to learn to place ourselves in God’s history, to be part of God’s people.”
- Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom, 33
So you guys tell me, “How do we reverse the trend of delegating the responsibility of discipleship onto others, and take it up ourselves?”
Or in words that express this other picture, “How can we all take a part in helping others get up, and move into and live out their relationship with God?”
In helping others, everyone can play a part...even puppies.