Over many years of walking with Jesus and attending a variety of churches I have discovered one common missing element…discipleship.
People need each other. We were created to live in fellowship and to learn and grow together. Sometimes that means growing with a church body, and at other times that means growing with the church body of your own household. No matter what season of “church” our family is in, I always remain connected to a few people to whom I am spiritually accountable. People who tell me the truth and help me to walk upright, and I do the same with them. This is important.
Ultimately, I am responsible for seeking out my own growth in God. This is true…but it is also true that the church was originally designed to walk out this process with us. To create a place where truth was taught, and the leaders led lives designed to partner with the process and not cause stumbling.
It was never to have simply been about church growth, but about creating disciples of Christ.
I wonder, have you been discipled? Do you feel stuck in your walk? Or maybe you’ve grown and matured and now God is calling you to begin discipling those around you. Either way, it’s time. It’s time to lean into the heart of discipleship. I will never forget the moment that God told me, “Lisa, I have been pouring into you for years now. You’ve consistently met with Me in the secret place and have developed, now it’s time for you to pour into others. If you want more of Me, it’s time to pour out first.”
This was my launch into ministry, and it came from the Father…not man. It came from His mouth, not from others. It came from His body, not a church body. Ever since that moment, I have sought out ways to pour out, whether I was acknowledged by a church body or not. Friend, you don’t need a title in order to disciple, teach or minister. You just need Jesus.
Then Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
He gave us our orders that day. He validates that call within us. Who else do you need approval from?
Today I encourage you to evaluate where you are. Do you feel the pull inside to seek out one or more people to disciple you? Do you feel the pull inside to begin to act as one that disciples? Whichever it is, just do it. Go out and be the Body of Christ. Maybe you need to receive and release at the same time. That’s ok too…being discipled and discipling work hand in hand if we remain humble and allow it.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God Who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
We are all a work in progress. Let’s be about the business of continuing that good work.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6