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Satisfying the Hunger... is a blog written by the ministry staff of Evangelism & Church Growth

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June 12, 2012

Discipleship, learning to value what the Lord values....

Recently I was meeting with our elders and one of them said, “We know what we need to do, we need to make disciples.  We know how to do that!”  I confessed to our elders that right now, at this time, in this place, I was not sure how to make a disciple.  I asked the elders for some help, “How do we make a disciple today?”  The answers ranged from actions like feed the poor and volunteer in the community to study scripture and worship in Spirit and Truth.  It became clear to us the possible things we could do to make disciples was a huge list.  If we attempted all of them we would not end up with disciples but we would make a group of frustrated and exhausted people. We would become one more programmatic church producing programs, not disciples.


I believe that it is not so much what we do or don’t do that makes us disciples, but “why” we do what we do.  The GA New Church Coaches who all had started a new mission with the goal to make disciples identified,  "teaching to value what Jesus valued" as a key to discipleship.  It is the “why” to every action.  It is the fulfillment of the commandment Jesus identified as the greatest,


“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-39)


Maybe the real challenge of disciple making is to keep every discipline, every action, every ministry, every learning in the context of “We are learning to love the things God loves, learning to value what God values.”  Making disciples might be as simple as to communicate why we are feeding the hungry, hosting a dinner, gathering to learn, taking an offering, beginning a new class,  introducing the practice of time alone with God, or having an all church retreat. 


Do people know the "why" behind what your church does and offers?