Defining Discipleship // Disciple-Makers Job Description

I’m ‘busy’ reflecting on the summer and my own summer ministry team this year.

In one session I asked the team in pairs to come up with a definition of discipleship and to write a job description for a disciple-maker.
Thought I’d share their insights with you.

What do you think?

What is Discipleship:

  • The uncontainable overflow of Gods initiating Love, changing lives from the inside out.. which cannot be contained; it has to be shared!
  • A life which is always pressing on following after Christ, captivated by Him in triumphant joy, and spreading the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him wherever it goes.
  • Transforming in increasing fruitfulness on the adventure of following Jesus.
  • An example of Christ’s example, living among the people as a reflection. In the world but not of it.

What is a Disciple-makers Job Description:

  • Introducing people to the goodness, mercy and grace of God. Keeping the cross central; everything else flows from it.
  • Someone willing to share their passion of living for Jesus, who models a life of self-sacrifice and devotion to their personal Saviour and who will encourage and support others on their journey of faith with utmost care and brotherly affection.
  • Modelling to and journeying with someone, as one who believes in both God’s and their ability of Christ-life transformation.
  • A role model who is a guide, teacher, friend and companion who through grace, love and persistence will encourage and support.
  • To Guide their searching.
  • A role model who is a guide, teacher, friend and companion who through grace, love and persistence will encourage and support.
    To Guide their searching.

Norman Lynas : Why Mentoring Matters

Originally posted on Disciple Making Together:

Maybe it’s just an Irish idea, but if someone helps you and so makes it possible for you to take the next step up the ladder in any area of life, whether that be in education, business or the Christian journey, it seems the most natural thing in the world to do the same for others. And so I guess that was how I started encouraging others and spending time with them helping to grow and mature their faith. Part of the problem in my case was very simple – the fact that, having been brought up in a fairly strict church and Sunday school, my faith began as a way of escaping hell.

normanLater on I discovered that this way of thinking leaves out a vital part of the message: that Christ not only died to save me but chose to live His life through me. Having come to this realisation, I greatly appreciated having someone…

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John 15 and three dimensional discipleship

andy lamberton:

this is a great wee blog from Alan Wilson.
i’ve been looking at John 15 carefully for around a year now, these are good thoughts.

Originally posted on Time for Thought:

(Thanks to Chuck Miller’s book, The Spiritual Formation of Leaders, for providing the following framework for some material I am working on for a church weekend next month.)

John 15 comes in the middle of a series of teaching that Jesus gives to his disciples just before his crucifixion and contains the famous analogy of the Vine and the branches.

Vineyard imagery is well known in the Bible and the problem in the Old Testament is that God’s people had produced bad quality fruit, as Isaiah describes it. The answer is a Vine that will produce good fruit. This True Vine – the fulfilment of God’s desire to see good fruit – is not a nation of people, but one man, Jesus. Hence his claim at the start of John 15, to which he adds that his disciples are the branches.

As well as developing this theme, John 15 adds…

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How [not] to be a church mission committee 1

andy lamberton:

Great thoughts here from John, I’ll re-post part 2 also…

Originally posted on John 20:21:

sphere-1406-cover“Local churches need to be at the centre of supporting, encouraging and helping mission partners in the day-to-day life of living and ministering in another culture.”       Sphere magazine June 2014

In my local church in Belfast, N. Ireland, a young man called John has recently been accepted as a long term missionary with OMF in Japan. He still has a year to go at Bible college and we have been supporting him in his studies. But we are facing a challenge. John will not be getting an OMF salary. John is the first member of our church to join a faith mission since the church sent my family with Wycliffe Bible Translators 25 years ago – and have faithfully supported us ever since.

How will our church cope? Will we pray regularly and faithfully? Will we give generously and sufficiently? I am trusting that God’s Holy Spirit will enable us…

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King David – The Imperfect.

Sin sin sin, it provides the backdrop to every broken man, every torn woman. It Is the silent tear in each eye, and the heaviness in each conscience and the beginning of everything that is not right with this place.
David is a huge character in our scriptures, more narrative space is given to David than any other character in the Bible and not only do we have his documented life in detail but also a huge catalogue of his inner thoughts and prayers in the Psalms. Yet with all this space, not even the slightest effort is made to present him as admirable in any sense. The man after God’s own heart, is yet far from perfect. The man who didn’t kill Saul when being pursued by him, also murdered Uriah.
As Jesus followers we must run from 2 things, we must run from Sin and Perfectionism both are soul-wrecking germs which will work their way to hardening our hearts.
As we pray in the company of David’s psalms and live in the company of his story we begin to notice that sin is not ours to address, none of the psalms pray to sin asking it to go away, and in none do we hear the phrase ‘I’ll never do that again’.
We begin to learn the we do not deal with sin on our own, we deal with God and he deals with our sin.  The way he does this is to forgive.  He calls it Grace.
God’s business is to deal with sin, so our business is to deal with God as he continually does His work in and with us.
Our praying and God following companion (King David) keeps us mindful that it is God who does His perfect work through us, not us perfecting ourselves.
Do not fall for the lie that we can deal with sin on our own that’s perfectionist talk, not the talk of a forgiven Grace filled follower.
Sin is God’s business, let Him deal with it.

Standing on Grace

Grieve Well, With Hope. (for those who mourn Leah Whyte)

Leah Whyte.  I was not close to her, but some of my closest friends were some of her closest friends and family.
Words; people say there’s nothing can be said, and though there are times and places where nothing should be said, (and there will be many of those over the next few weeks), words have power.  Having decided not to, I’ve now decided to carefully and with tears write a blog for those who loved Leah not as a tribute but hopefully as a help and to let you know that many are mourning your lost with you.  

In the words of her mum ‘Leah was ready to die, we were not ready to say goodbye.’  
Though we can barely believe it we must hold on to the truth that God is faithful. By God is faithful we mean that His faithfulness can be depended on.  We can trust in it fully.
God’s is faithful.  Truth is these words go deep, much deeper than we sometimes give them credit for.  This depth is truly realised when death comes and unapologetically interrupts our lives. 

Death is sad, no matter how ready someone is or how ready we know they are, it’s sad.  Friends please grieve, mourn and grieve because this is not the way it should be. 
God can and does work for the good and bring good out of evil.  But God is the one who gives life and it is this fallen world and the enemy who takes it away…
We do great damage to ourselves and our thoughts about God when we look at something wrong/evil and try to call it good. 
As those who mourn we need to be able to say:
“This is not good:
This is not the way it should be
This is a tear in the fabric of God’s good creation
And God weeps over it and rages against it
And one day will defeat this enemy for good and restore all the goodness”

And that’s the thing, this is not good, but we have a good God.  ‘And what then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us.’  Not even death can stand against us.
For like Jesus when faced with Jairus’ daughter or standing at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, He wept.  It was not good yet he did not finish with weeping.  Like Jesus we too can mock the clutch of death and call it sleep.  For we know and we trust that the same man who raised Lazarus has been to the cross, has defeated that final enemy and has rose victorious. CHRIST HAS RISEN, CHRIST HAS RISEN INDEED. 
And it is Him, who now says to Horace’s daughter as He did to Jairus’ daughter ‘young girl, its time to wake up’, let me show you heaven for great is your inheritance here. 
And Leah will do what she loved to do…
She is with her Lord, where those of us who’ve trusted Jesus are going too.
So I ask you to:
Grieve well, but with hope.

This is how the story will end. These words have power, not simply because of how beautiful they are, but because they are a promise from our faithful Father.
Revelation 21:3-5a
“I heard a loud voice from the throne saying. ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said ‘I am making everything new’.”

As those who mourn we’ve a few important choices to make for ourselves…

  • Choose to be better not bitter.
  • Choose to believe the truth not the lies.
  • Choose to rise to Hope not fall to despair.
  • Choose to focus on eternity not the temporary.
  • Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your heart in eternity.

Leah is alive, in-fact she is happy.  I know this because we can depend on God’s faithfulness.  God is faithful.  Death is no-longer the final enemy but marks the start of eternity an eternity where we will meet Leah and together with everyone praise the God who is good who gives life.  For he has promised; and he is faithful.

Where O death is your victory. 
Grieve well, with hope…

Standing on Grace, Andrew.


Jairus daughter story is in Mark 5:21-43


Debbie’s diary entry 2013

A lot happened in 2013..
What a start to the year as we found out I was expecting and Andrew made the big announcement! We celebrated birthdays, hen parties, baby showers, anniversaries, holidays, the city of culture, engagements and weddings. The joy of new arrivals, the loss of loved ones. New friendships formed, new roles in life for many of us. 
We lived in four different houses and finally settled in our new home! We watched the seasons change and enjoyed the weather of a real summer! We became parents, as Andrew and I were blessed with our little boy and have shared together, with our family, friends and church so many of Peter’s ‘first moments’ and our First Christmas together as a family (great being on maternity leave!).
As one year ends and another begins, we have a lot to give thanks for and a lot to look forward to in the year ahead! Many memories have been made, alot of laughter had and shared, many a tear shed, lessons learned and much still to learn..
Personally I have learned that you can’t ‘do’ life on your own strength. In particular I was reminded of this after Peter was born and I was quite unwell. The care, attention, love and dependance I had on God, Andrew, my family, friends, and hospital staff was felt most at this time. I am constantly reminded of that every day when I look at Peter.
Sharing life with Andrew, has been a real joy and a real journey. Each day may we continue to Stand on God’s grace and strive to walk in His ways. To live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
With full hearts and ready hands, Andrew and I step into 2014 and pray that God would pour into it, as we will..

Eph 3:19


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