Saturday, August 11, 2012

Four Bs of Discipleadership

At the heart of discipleadership, there are four Bs - To Be, Bless, Belong and Believe.


They are all active verbs (may not be so grammatically). In the context of discipleadership and spiritual life, they all imply movement.

Be
Who we are in Christ is the core and starting point of discipleadership. Our identity is defined by our relationship with God and shaped by the local body of Christ in which we are placed. It is recreated in Christ, by Christ, and for Christ. The other three streams flow out of this one.


Bless
This is our mission. We are blessed so that we may be a blessing by witnessing to Jesus - His life, love, light and liberty. Keeping the Great Commandment (Matthew 22.37-40) and fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28.16-20) will bless the world in Jesus' name.


Belong
This is our community. As the body of Christ, we reflect the Triune God. We are not meant to walk with God alone and to face the spiritual warfare alone. We need the body, and the body needs each of us. We define fellowship as a community on a mission.


Believe
This is our system. In one sense, what we believe creates our worlds in which we live. Therefore, it is critical that we believe rightly and Biblically so that our system may align itself with the reality of the Kingdom. At the core of our belief is our faith in Jesus Christ.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Discipleadership (Part 2)

The vision of discipleadership is to unleash men and women who are fully alive in Christ into the world. They will turn their world upside down.

We have experienced it ourselves and seen it in others we know.

When we begin to experience the true character of our God and who we are in Christ, we enter a new level of freedom. Our hearts (the core of who we are as a person) come alive in the knowledge of Christ and of ourselves. When we begin to know who we are reborn to be, our mission in life emerges.  

Apart from Christ, we can do nothing, but we can do all things through the Son who strengthens us. United with Jesus, we become unstoppable forces for change in the world.

Being the change agent for the Kingdom is not about "being in ministry." Our very presence and action become weighty, witnessing to the goodness, truth and beauty of the Triune God no matter where God places us in whatever capacity.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Following Jesus

Following God is not often what I hoped it would look like.

I always wanted assurance of success in walking with God. A debilitating theology!

Even simple logic dictates that there would be no need for faith if success were guaranteed. There would be no adventure if I knew I could not fail.

It's like watching the Olympics women's gymnastics finals AFTER you've read the results on my iPhone/Android/iPad. [OK, I caught myself typing "in the newspaper" and thought to myself, "Hey, it shows my age. Nobody reads news in the paper anymore."]. Spoiler! Perhaps, you can still enjoy the amazing performance of the U.S. team over and over again, but there is no adventure in watching it.

My walk with God has been full of unknowns and uncertainty. I often erroneously concluded in the midst of uncertainty that I was not following God close enough. In reality, that's often how God wants us to walk with Him. A good Biblical example is found in 1 Samuel 14.

Jonathan the son of Saul decides to check out and attack the Philistine garrison with his armor-bearer. Scriptures are not clear how detailed of instructions Jonathan has received from the Lord before he took action. One thing is clear. He initiated with much uncertainty. He says, "It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few." (v. 6)

"It may be"!? He wasn't sure of the outcome. He was sure of the power and ability of God. That's the life of faith. There are only a few things that are clear and certain.

First of all, the Lord is God. He is absolutely good. He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Secondly, Jesus is in me, I am in Him. He and I are in perfect union by the grace of God through the complete work of Christ. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That's it! And that's enough for us to make the move!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Discipleadership

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11.1)

It's a bold command. Can you say that to someone, anyone? I don't think I can. Maybe it sounds arrogant.

It's not arrogance. It's humble and true. As long as a leader is imitating Jesus, he can and should invite others to imitate his example of following Jesus. It's really the Father's commandment for all of us to be imitators of the Son.

That was Paul's way of leadership - leading by following. We call it discipleadership.

Biblical leaders are first and foremost disciples of Jesus.

To the extent we are following Jesus can we effectively lead His people.

Discipleadership is an elegantly simple way of leadership. It's also profoundly rich. It's indeed a life-long journey.

Discipleadership is grounded in growing in the knowledge of who God really is, of who we truly are in Christ, and living more fully out of our complete union with Jesus in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Knowing God and ourselves in Christ brings us right back to Jesus because Jesus is the perfect image of the invisible God and the visible example of the perfect man.