Sunday, July 17, 2011

Are we not disciples?

I really enjoyed the Stetzer/Hirsch conversation on the nature and meaning, and the theological underpinning, of the whole concept of the missional church. God is a sending God, and the church is a body of "sent ones," in the power of the Holy Spirit, whose purpose is given them by Jesus himself:
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (John 20:21-23 ESV)
DebD asked in a recent comment, "what do you think it means when someone is a disciple (beyond learning from Him and going and making more disciples)? What does becoming a disciple look like?"

In answer, I think I'd go back to the Hirsch/Stetzer conversation, where Hirsch says, "the church does not create the mission, the mission creates the church." The mission precedes the church, and the church is the embodiment of the mission. This means that the church is not merely the dispenser of spiritual goods ("join now and we'll throw in one free hands-on prayer for healing before signing you up for the usher team!") but it is nothing less than the continuation of the church in Acts. A sent people, preaching the Kingdom, teaching, healing, forming community, worshiping God together, etc.

What that looks like is going to be somewhat different in every context, but it bears repeating, believers are disciples. All of them. They are radically committed to the practice of grace, embodying the gospel of grace in their relationships, explaining the significance and relevance of Jesus at every opportunity, being available to the Spirit for the work of the Spirit in drawing people's attention to Christ. They do this in their ordinary lives.

1 comment:

DebD said...

Good thoughts to ponder. Thanks.