According to the passage we studied in Sunday’s sermon, there’s a difference between experiencing the benefits of Jesus, and actually being a disciple of Jesus. Well a couple of weeks ago, I read a post on Eric Geiger’s blog which listed 5 of the most important findings from 10 years of discipleship research. And you know what, they were so illuminating that I just had to share them. So without further ado, I give you…
5 Truths from 10 Years of Discipleship Research
1. Discipleship is intentional.
Those who are maturing desire to mature. They engage in discipleship opportunities and seek Christ in their daily lives. Nobody drifts into godliness. Waking up to Jesus and inviting others into his life involve our conscious, daily decisions.
2. Reading the Bible matters more than anything else.
It is the number one predictor for spiritual growth. Quite simply, those who read God’s word… grow.
3. The discipline of Bible engagement impacts every other discipline.
We’ve all heard of gateway drugs. But there are also gateway disciplines: behaviours that branch into other behaviours. For example, someone who serves may not be generous in giving. But engagement with the Bible affects every other spiritual discipline. Someone who brings God’s word to dwell in them daily will be much more likely to give, serve, confess sin, share Jesus with others, etc.
4. Groups matter. A lot.
Those who are in some type of group (Sunday School, small group, etc.) are much more likely to display markers of spiritual growth than those not in a group. At Awaken, this happens during our 3pm prayer. This time isn’t an afterthought or an add-on; it’s a fundamental part of our mission and community… and it includes child care!
5. There is a deep connection between discipleship and evangelism.
Disciples share the gospel. Those who are growing in Christ tell others about Him. Those who are not growing in their faith are much less likely to articulate the gospel.
Along the lines of that fifth and final point, C.S. Lewis once said…
The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, everything else is simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.
Man that guy knew how to sum up an idea! It’s like lightning on the page.
With you for Jesus,
Pastor Daren Redekopp