Discipleship and Growth

The author of Hebrews instructs us: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Isn’t it interesting to see the focus on “one another” and “others” when it comes to growing as followers of Jesus? Often we think of strong Christians as the ones who are most excited to listen to a worship CD or read “heady” theological books. We love theology and encourage our people to be reading good Christian books together that help them apply and better understand God’s word. But, the question must be asked: “If I can’t be committed to a group a people who are different than me, who the only thing they may have in common with me is Jesus Christ, with all their faults and foibles, then what assurance do I really have in thinking that I’m converted to Christ?” The more we’ve known about our own sin and how much God has forgiven us in Christ, then surely that kind of love must find a way out of our hearts to other people, particularly those who are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

That’s our vision for discipleship and growth. That’s what a local church is about. That is the true definition of strength–being able to continue in love that way, with a limited group of people who will not always be your favorite people–but with whom you have in common, Jesus Christ. It is very interesting what Jesus says in John 13, “A new command I give to you, to love one another as I have loved you so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another as I have loved you.” Being “others centered” and inconveniencing ourselves to encourage and love others glorifies God and stirs us up to love and good deeds. We pray that you will join us as we grow together in our love for Jesus Christ.