There’s a question than haunts me and drives me in ministry. “If all the Christians in the world were killed and none were left but those in your church, would they be equipped to start the Christian movement all over again?” Would they be able to imitate Christ? Would they be able to pass on the essential pieces of what it means to follow Christ in a way that others could receive it and pass it on, too? That question made me think: was I making disciples of Jesus Christ who were both equipped, willing, and motivated to make disciples of Jesus? Was I making disciples who would make disciples who could make disciples…
Now, if your theological warning bells are going off, please relax. I firmly believe in a Sovereign God and the future of the church is in God’s hands. But think about it: Are you confident you are doing what Jesus commissioned you to do when he said, “Make disciples…” (Matthew 28:16-20)
When I first heard that question, the troubling answer was, “probably not.” I was doing my best to be a disciple. But if I made disciples who made disciples, it had been by accident.
After eighteen months of learning to lead communities for mission and discipleship I am beginning to have a much better answer. I had always believed that the church had the potential to change the world, but now I am beginning to understand how. Because when a follower of Jesus Christ imitates Christ in a way that can be passed on, a movement of discipleship and mission can grow.
And we’re seeing fruit: Kent has gained confidence to pray with patients. Tita discovered the joy of personally experiencing Christ. Cathy knows what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Norma and Kris have taken opportunities to pass on what they’ve learned. Andrew has a burning desire to help others no matter what he has to do. Heather and Alesandra stepped out of their comfort zones to serve. Nicholl got people talking when she opened her home for healing service. Teams are now prepared and willing to pray for healing. It’s been pretty cool!
And it is very gratifying to see everyone in our huddles learning skills for discipleship that can be passed on. What makes me excited about the future is when I hear the people of First Coast Missional Communities express their desire to step out, to follow God, to bless their world, and to pass on what they are learning.
So in the next year, we are hoping to start new discipleship huddles, sustain and launch healthy micro-churches, and meet for worship.
Do you think God may be preparing you for a season of growth? There’s a spot for you at FCMC!