Am I Growing?
What is a disciple?
A disciple is a learner; a journeyer; a follower - one who lives within the cycle of learning, obedience, and practice in daily life. The disciples' knowledge becomes incarnate in daily life, which effects our understanding, which effects our practices. The disciple pursues the upward call of Jesus Christ.
What is the goal of discipleship?
The goal of the disciple journey is to become more like Christ! Paul says, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus".(Philippians 1:6).
What are some characteristics of a disciple?
A disciple desires to live a new life in Christ. Paul reminds us, "That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of day. Don't even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time - remember, you've been raised from the dead! - into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God (Romans 6:12-14, The Message). He also says "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
• A disciple is one who puts God first in all things. Luke retells Jesus' words, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke9:23).
• A disciple desires the fruit of the spirit to characterize his or her life - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). The Message Bible says it this way, "But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."
• Colossians 3:12-17 lists some additional characteristics of a person seeking to be like Christ - "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
• A disciple is a person who presents themselves to God for His mission. Paul exhorts, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect"(Romans 12:1-2).
What are the destinations of the journey?
• We know Christ as Lord and Savior (John 8:30).
• We have assurance of our salvation (John 20:31).
• We have a thirst for God's Word and grow spiritually (John 8:31).
• We communicate with God and know Him personally (Luke 11:1).
• We have been scripturally baptized and exhibit personal stewardship in a local church (Eph. 4:11-12).
• We can transfer biblical truths of Christianity in everyday life (John 13:33-34).
• We have come to a point of forsaking all to follow Christ (Luke 14:33).
• We model lifestyle behavior consistent with Scriptural teaching (Romans 12:1-2).
• We are actively drawing non-believers (John 15:8).
• We are effectively reproducing disciple makers one on one (John 15:16).
• We reach out with the love and compassion of Christ in our words and in our actions.
What are some disciplines (practices) of a disciple?
• Praying daily
• Daily Bible reading
• Regular Bible study
• Memorizing scripture
• Devotional Study
• Regular worship attendance
• Stewardship of your finances, time, and abilities
• Loving, serving, and encouraging others
• Sharing your faith with others (prayer, conversation, invitation)
• Obedience/self denial
• Holding a Biblical worldview
• Integrity (being the same person in private as you are in public, and vice versa)
• Using spiritual gifts
• Building relationships
• Small group involvement
• Being accountable to others
• Fellowshipping with other believers
What discipleship opportunities are available through the ministry of First Baptist Church of Amarillo?
• Sunday morning small group Bible study
• Weekday small group meetings
• Tuesday Noon Bible Study
• Wednesday Prayer meeting
• Wednesday Bible study for young adults
• Sunday morning and evening worship services
• Precept Bible studies
• Women's weekday Bible studies
• Retreats and special activities
• Sunday afternoon discipleship classes
• Local mission activities
• International mission trips
• One on one mentoring
Where should I start?
• Regularly attend worship services
• Be a part of a Sunday morning small group Bible study class
• Serve others (teaching preschoolers, teaching children, teenagers or adults; helping with ESL, connect with a refugee family or group, etc.)
• Enlist to help in a local mission project
• Go on an overseas mission trip
• Talk to church staff member about how and where to plug in
• Complete a spiritual gifts inventory
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
John Honeycutt, Journey: A Fresh Guided Journey into the Spiritual Formation of Multiplying Disciples, 2008.