Today some thoughts from Brian Williamson, Lead Pastor of The Bridge Bible Church, a decentralized networked approach in Somerset, WI. Their church’s vision is to lead everyone toward full life development in Jesus through missional communities.

“We’ve benefited from using the word discipling instead of discipleship for these reasons: Discipling is a verb. Discipleship is a noun. Discipling is active. Disciple-ship is passive. Disciple-ship in my mind invokes the image of a luxury cruise liner that takes forever to turn, whose participants are passive recipients of information. When we talk, we use the language of discipling to promote the active and participatory aspects of working out the implications of new life in Jesus.

“I have learned that the activity of discipling is marked by two things:  invitation and challenge. Inviting followers into your life and challenging them to become all that God wants them to be. The calibration of invitation and challenge is one of the most important things we can keep a pulse on in our discipling relationships. Invitation includes the values of giving support, space, time, grace and resource. Challenge includes the values of speaking the truth in love, calling out the best in those around you, challenging your disciples to launch that missional community, to engage in spiritual conversations, to do the thing God is inviting them to do.”

Brian Williamson is also a coach with 3D Ministries, taking the learnings of a very post-Christian England to come alongside an increasingly post-Christian North America. More on the resources he’s using tomorrow.