Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Discipleship has become quite the buzz word in church in all its many hued forms at present.
I have an aversion to being on trend. I'm a 4 on the Enneagram, so, as soon as something becomes trendy I'm off looking for the next distraction.
Discipleship, it seems, is not to be so easily shucked off.
Our last gathering of ministers involved in the Path of Renewal Pilot focussed on Discipleship, as will, I imagine, many of our gatherings for the future.
Rich Robinson of 3DM-Europe helped us work through some of the essentials of being and making disciples: Information, Imitation and Innovation.
How tempting it is to take what we think we've learned and then rush to put it into practice. From Information straight to innovation, without the imitation piece. Of course we'd much rather bypass the difficult work of modelling discipleship for others - that's the hard bit!
I'm currently trawling through books on discipleship, discerning what might work in different contexts. But, as one of the ministers involved in the Pilot reminded us, this is a journey we are on together. There are no guinea pigs - we share the road and the lessons learned along the way.
For my part, authentic relationships, vulnerability and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, along with studying Scripture to learn from Jesus' interactions with his disciples are leading me on paths long forgotten or avoided.
And so, as we consider Renewal in the church from the inside out, so too, discerning discipleship is proving to bring personal renewal from the inside out. We are absolutely, unequivocally on a journey of discovery together. Thanks be to God.