There’s lots to process and work through and we hope to unveil some of our plans later this year, but let me share with you one of the most striking observations from my reading.
Nearly every author I read described discipleship as being essentially about obedience. Now, like you, I knew this but for whatever reason it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind as I began to think about discipleship. Perhaps it was because we so often associate discipleship with knowledge of the Bible or of theology. Or perhaps because I was thinking about it from the perspective of a church and so ended up with a list of “skills” like prayer or evangelism.
The simple definition of discipleship as obedience to Jesus is concerned less about what I know or can do and instead with whether I am being obedient. One author asks two questions in discipleship: What is Jesus saying to you and what are you doing in response? I found these confronting and trust you do too. As a leader it has made the question of how we nurture followers of Jesus even more pressing, but also challenges some of what we might have normally called “discipleship” (e.g., courses on the Bible).
Apart from what we might do as a community of faith to nurture followers of Jesus, we are all called to follow Jesus – to listen to him and to obey what he calls us to do. I invite you to join me in thinking more about discipleship this year, but also to pay more attention to obedience. For this is what discipleship is really all about.