Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Discipleship - Introduction

The purpose of this series of blog posts is to give a basic walk through of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and to give an overview of the teachings contained in the Bible. Completion of this series will comprise part of the requirements for membership in Northside Baptist Church. Each blog post will also have a corresponding video clip for those who are more audio/visual inclined and can be found at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLh-rj2mpRxRUffljtw9I0pkh2YIYWsco3&feature=edit_ok

So, what is discipleship? Simply put, a disciple is one that follows and learns. Jesus called people to follow Him! The word "disciple" comes from a Greek word that means "a student, a learner, a pupil." More directly, in the context of Jesus we find that the concept of being a disciple lines up best with our current idea of a mentorship relationship. While we follow Jesus and learn about Him we are mentored by Him. 

The early followers of Jesus were known as His "disciples."
Matthew 5:1-2 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying...

Now, besides Jesus there is another person in this mentorship relationship. That person is the one whose faith and teachings we are following as an example of what a disciple of Jesus is and does. The Apostle Paul (one of the early first-century church leaders and writer of many New Testament books) put his mentorship relationship with his followers this way:

1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

What was Paul saying? He was saying that because we can't actually see Jesus and physically walk with and watch Him we must follow and learn from those who have spent more time as Christians with Jesus than we have.

Everyone (no matter how long they have been following Jesus) needs to have a mentor in the Christian life. Why? Several reasons become immediately apparent. First, it is prideful to think that we can do life alone. God created us to live this life with and learning from other people. Secondly, we all have deficits and blind spots. These areas that are difficult for us to see and face are much more likely to be lovingly confronted and dealt with within the context of a mentorship relationship. This makes us better people and better followers of Jesus. Thirdly, we just need a mentor to encourage us and to spur us to keep going forward in our life with Jesus.

So as we begin this process of walking together with Jesus, read over the lessons until you have a good grasp of the material and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. If your mentor does not have the answer right away, they will find an answer for you and get back to you with it. If you are doing this discipleship series entirely via internet you can send your questions for each lesson to quietpreacher@gmail.com and I will respond personally.

God bless and have a happy day!
Jason Homan
http://www.northsidebaptistchurch.ca
http://www.jasonhoman.com