How would you define the word “discipleship”? Often, discipleship has been reduced to programatic habits or steps in spiritual growth. What we clearly see in scripture from Jesus’ life with his own disciples was a desire for them to learn by following and mimicking him. 1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in Him, must live as Jesus did.” Jesus must be our example and our guide in faith, life, mission, and discipleship. Before we focus on our discipleship of others we must spend time focusing on our own discipleship – – our transformation into the image of Christ. In this section we will focus on the intentionality, space, & rhythms required for our own discipleship.
Co-Founder Forge International
CLICK TO READ: From Solitude to Community to Ministry (by Henri Nouwen)
- Reflect on the following quote from the article, From Solitude to Community to Ministry. As you reflect, write down what comes to mind, what you feel, and what you hear God is trying to speak to you.
“God says, ‘You are my beloved. I’m not going to ask you any questions. Wherever you have gone, whatever you have done, and whatever people say about you, you’re my beloved. I hold you safe in my embrace. I touch you. I hold you safe under my wings. You can come home to me whose name is Compassionate, whose name is Love.’ If you keep that in mind, you can deal with an enormous amount of success as well as an enormous amount of failure without losing your identity, because your identity is that you are the beloved. Long before your father and mother, your brothers and sisters, your teachers, your church, or any people touched you in a loving as well as in a wounding way–long before you were rejected by some person or praised by somebody else–that voice has been there always. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” That love is there before you were born and will be there after you die. That’s where ministry starts, because your freedom is anchored in claiming your belovedness. That allows you to go into this world and touch people, heal them, speak with them, and make them aware that they are beloved, chosen, and blessed. When you discover your belovedness by God, you see the belovedness of other people and call that forth. It’s an incredible mystery of God’s love that the more you know how deeply you are loved, the more you will see how deeply your sisters and your brothers in the human family are loved.”
- Given that we live in a world that demands our attention, and also our loyalties, it is critical that we submit ourselves to a regular inventory of idolatry. Reflect on how much time is dedicated to certain aspects of your life. What dominates your thinking? What demands your attention? What needs to be confessed? Where does repentance need to take place? Where do you need the help from the Spirit of God?”
- This week create space. Look at your calendar and create openings and space. Actually take one or two things off of the calendar if possible. Build in time to hear from the Spirit of God and allow yourself the flexibility and freedom to have spur of the moment opportunities and encounters with those in your context.