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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

A Season of Revitalization

Lifelong Discipleship Formation

If Grace Church was in a season of revitalization, how would we know? We can look for signs, evidence or marks of renewal and revival in our common life. Is Grace Church excited about discipleship? Our congregation gathers for the purposes the risen Christ gave to us recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 (The Message): “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Our congregation’s purpose is to form cradle-to-grave Christ followers, to excite people about daily (not just Sunday) discipleship, and to accompany those awakened to Jesus’ call: “Follow me!” Jesus intended lifelong discipleship formation to be exciting!

I recently listened to a TED talk by Bernie Dunlap on being lifelong learners. He describes the energy generated by insatiable curiosity and by encountering new ideas. We, as disciples, are called to curiosity about one another and our world, and about God! Not to understand God but to experience and live alongside God. That’s one reason I love a variety of spiritual disciplines, from stillness to corporate chanting, since each offers me a new experience of God.

I also love discussing challenging books, like Kendra Creasy Dean’s Almost Christian. She argues that “Christian formation- the patterning of our lives and our communities after Christ’s self-giving love- requires grace, not determination.” Jesus-disciples are called to Christ-sharing, always imperfectly and always in community. We should exhibit a “Jesus-ness”- a resemblance to Jesus. We are called to embody Christ’s love in the world, and to exhibit this love in hopes of training everyone we meet, “far and near, in this way of life.”

Today’s Question: How would an outsider grade Grace Church’s discipleship efforts? More grace or more determination?