I was in the Sunday morning Bible Study today (or whatever we call it) and James-the-intern-from-England was leading it. I really like James. He also preached today. He's a very humble chap who's quick with a laugh but he oozes sincerity. I wish they weren't leaving next week. I didn't spend a lot of time with him, but enjoyed his preaching, teaching, and the few chats we did have.
Anyway, he was talking about something this morning, and I don't think it was even anything he said - it was likely something I've read somewhere recently and it just kind of 'clicked' in my head this morning. A thought popped into my head regarding "going and making disciples." It seems we often think of a disciple as a "follower of Jesus." My thought was - what if we thought of discples more as 'PARTNERS WITH JESUS'?
I think most people are probably a little put off by the idea of "following" anyone. It's not a real inviting term. Especially when people see how so many Christians behave today! But, really, isn't what Jesus wants of us as "followers" (disciples) is to be participants in bringing about the reality of his kingdom?? (Maybe "reality" isn't a very good word, but the only other word I can think of is "manifesting" and I'm not sure how that would come across).
So, in essence, I guess what I'm trying to say is:
What if we presented discipleship more as 'Inviting people to partner with Jesus (and other disciples) in bringing about his kingdom way of life'... rather than merely asking them to follow someone or something?
I suppose my definition of a disciple, then, would be: "Someone who partners with Jesus in bringing about His kingdom way of life in their sphere of the world."
And what is his kingdom way of life? Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the poor; giving hope to the hopeless; bring the Good News of peace, love, forgiveness, and all that sort of thing to a world that needs it.
Well, like I said, I'm sure I heard or read this somewhere else. I am going to tinker around with this in my brain for a bit though. It SOUNDS so much better to me than inviting people to be mere "followers."