The Discipleship Difference: Making Disciples While Growing As Disciples

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“Why am I even bothering to do this?” Rob thought to himself as he stacked the chairs. The sky outside the window was darkening, and he could hear the last of the cars pulling out of the church parking lot.We invest a lot of time, thought and energy into our discipleship efforts. We teach classes, gather resource materials, design curriculum, arrange discipleship relationships . . . but at the end of the day, what change are we really seeing? How come we aren’t seeing the kind of real-life results we’re looking for? Why isn’t it working? Where’s the transformation? What is discipleship all about? We are to love God, love others, and make disciples. That’s the Great Commandment and the Great Commission put together . . . not bad shorthand for the life of faith. The first two—love God and love others—are the way we are to live our lives. The third one—make disciples—is the mission: to help others follow Jesus just as we are following Jesus. Our making of disciples flows out of our life with God, to be certain. Yet in some ways, the order needs to be inverted as well: Only as we make disciples are we perfected in the faith. As we reach out, we are shaped and transformed. As we go about life, the mission of Jesus is to recognize the people in our sphere of influence and help them take the next steps toward God. Engaging in that mission results in not only an increased quality of relationships, but a changed life for us as well. Every person is different and we all reflect God in different ways. So why is our typical approach to discipleship the same across the board? The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are.

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