Imagine a local church equipping the followers of Jesus to follow Jesus. Imagine how many lives could be transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit IF the followers of Jesus would simply follow Jesus, while living life together.
Many people only follow Jesus to church, but is this all Jesus demands? You’ve heard me say, Jesus didn’t say, “Come sit and listen.” Jesus said to “Go make disciples of all nations.” Jesus said to “teach them to observe all things that I have commanded.”
Following Jesus will lead you into the church for about 2 to 3 hours per week, but is this the picture of following Jesus that the New Testament author’s paint?
The majority of Jesus’ ministry was “living life together” with others. As Jesus lived life with others, He made disciples of those with whom He lived life. As the disciples followed Jesus, they witnessed Jesus meet everyday people who had everyday needs. Jesus and His disciples lived their lives where real life happens. What I can tell you for certain is that the majority of life is not meant to be lived within the church walls.
Here at First Baptist Tallapoosa, we are becoming more intentional in equipping the followers of Jesus to live life with others where life happens most. Yet, most people who begin to truly follow Jesus have difficulty understanding what being a disciple or making a disciple means. The truth is that a person cannot make something that he is not, so what does it mean to be a disciple? In other words, how does a person follow Jesus as a disciple?
Discipleship is the process through which a person (1) hears and (2) obeys God’s word. The degree of transformation is always dependent upon obedience. The truth is that we live in a culture that prizes entertainment. Most people experience entertainment as a spectator; however, you cannot truly follow Jesus as a spectator. Jesus demands a person’s obedience. Obedience is measurable through actions, so being a disciple of Jesus is much more than simply listening or watching.
Here is the question that I am often asked: ”Where do I start the process of discipleship?” The answer is simple: Start where you are. Okay, but how is Jesus going to make me a disciple? What is the process?
At First Baptist Tallapoosa, the process is simple. Our desire is to equip people to grow spiritually and to engage others with the gospel of the kingdom.
1. FB Tallapoosa Discipleship 101 (Basic Foundations)
This is a seven part introductory course for new believers and new members that cover the following topics: (1) Who is God? - Fear God, (2) Who is God? - Follow Jesus, (3) Who is God? - Holy Spirit, (4) We Are Church - Fellowship, (5) We Are Church - Teaching, (6) We Are Church - Prayer, and (7) We Are Church - Communion.
These discipleship essentials can be found in the Tallapoosa First Baptist Library of RightNow Media.
2. FB Tallapoosa Discipleship 201 (The Spiritual Disciplines)
Within this step of the process, a person will begin with Mike Baker’s study titled “Walk.” During the study, a person will learn the topic of spiritual formation (how to grow in Christ) with a single metaphor and a working definition. Our hope is that the imagery of WALK will help followers of Jesus to convey, to others, the experiences on the journey of faith. Here are the topics to be discussed: (a) God the Holy Spirit takes the initiative, (2) Through various means, (3) in cooperation with our response, (4) Changes us to look like Jesus, (5) In order to serve others, and (6) to the glory of God.
3. FB Tallapoosa Discipleship 301 (Making Disciples)
Within this step of the process, a person will begin to understand how to make disciples. Discipleship is at the very heart of the ministry of Jesus. It should be at the heart of the life of the Christian as well. This series has been designed for those that are wanting to fulfill God’s plan for their lives of being Disciples of Jesus, and making Disciples of Jesus
The Goal of Discipleship:
1. Equip followers to listen and obey God's Word. FBT will intentionally move people from being consumers of God's Word to becoming producers of spiritual transformation by relying on the Holy Spirit and acting upon God's Word.
2. Empower followers to make disciples, by inviting others into a relationship where God's Word is heard and obeyed, as the followers live life together with others where real life happens most.
FBT will intentionally challenge the followers of Jesus to move from simply being consumers of God's Word to becoming producers of spiritual transformation, both personally and within others, through obeying God's Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.
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