Just these lines my friends to invite us to ponder together…..
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
Jesus called people to follow him. ‘Follow me’ appears 21 times in the gospels. Every time Jesus says it, Jesus is looking for decisive action; he invites and expects a response. The word ‘follow’ implies something that is done with your feet, not just your head. It is a head, heart and feet matter.
What is a disciple? Why should we disciple? How do we disciple? What does an intentional discipleship system look like? These questions will be the focus of our discipleship preaching series in September.
Some say a follower of Jesus is one whose life is centered on loving God and loving others. They point to Jesus’s giving of a New Commandment. Our United Methodist Founder, Mr. Wesley talked about discipleship as helping people to grow in holiness of heart and life.
Bishop Sharma Lewis has cast a vision of a Disciple as a lifelong learner who influences others to serve. She has called all Virginia UM Conference congregations to develop an intentional discipleship system, that includes all ages, and stages of spiritual formation.
When we become members of the UM church, we make a promise to be loyal to the UMC and do all in our power to strengthen its ministries and to faithfully participate by our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
What are the beliefs that you would name as essential for a disciple of Jesus? What is the individual’s role? The Church’s role? How do people typically enter into discipleship in our congregation? How does one move from being an observer to a participant, a contributor in the life of our congregation?
How do our existing groups and classes develop faith?
What has changed you as the result of being a part of a small group or Sunday School class? What is missing in our faith development process? Who is missing and why?
What seeds are we planting for future disciples?
Be a part of the discussion! I hope and pray that our small groups and Sunday School classes will take the time to ponder these questions together and to share your thoughts with your pastors as we participate in our worship and discipleship together.
Together, let us follow Jesus!
As always it is my joy and privilege to be your pastor and friend-