—Rik Gervais, Ruling Elder
What are we doing here? How often do you find yourself asking that question when you sit in church? Not just Christ Community Church, but ANY church? What are we doing here!? It should be clear what any church, but especially CCC, is all about. Our church is about discipleship.
“The church is not an arena where a professional minister is cheered on by lay people who are nothing more than spectators. The church should be discipling and training Christians for ministry. Church members, not just staff, are supposed to be ministering. That is the point of Ephesians 4:11, 12. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers are given to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.” (MacArthur, J.F., Jr., Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World, p. 184)
MacArthur reminds us, “Discipleship is the ministry of developing deeply spiritual friendships focused on teaching biblical truth, applying Scripture to life, and thus learning to solve problems biblically.” That’s how we learn, for ourselves and others, how to “Connect the Riches of Christ to the Realities of Life.” We don’t want people to simply sit in the seats and enjoy a good sermon. No, we want people to be growing in their understanding and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so that they can do ministry (connect Christ’s riches to others’ realities) in His name.
MacArthur goes on to say, “[Discipleship] must be reinforced by a godly example, not just delivered as a set of academic precepts. Therefore, discipleship involves time and personal involvement with people...the church must provide an environment that encourages that kind of discipleship at every level, from the pastor to the newest convert.”
So here’s the question (or maybe questions): Do you see that CCC is all about discipleship? If not, maybe we aren’t obvious enough about it. Or, and here’s where a second question comes up, maybe you are wondering if being all about discipleship is what YOU want to be all about!
Discipleship is not easy. It takes effort to 1) develop deeply spiritual friendships, 2) focus on teaching biblical truth, 3) apply Scripture to life, and 4) learn to solve problems biblically. It takes time and commitment. And it takes willingness to be vulnerable. It takes a desire to know God that transcends all our personal wants and desires (whew, that’s heavy!). Are you willing to invest that deeply? Do you want to be more than a spectator? I hope so. So does Jesus!
Are you wondering where to even start? May I suggest you take a second or third look at the Discipleship Cohorts forming this Fall. The specific focus of each may differ, but the desired outcome of each is the same: Growth in spiritual friendships, teaching biblical truth, applying Scripture to life, and solving problems (ours and others’) biblically. If you are asking the first question, maybe it’s because you haven’t figured out the answer to the second question. Here’s a great place to start finding the answer!