The Journey of Becoming a Church Centered on Discipleship

At the church I lead, we are seeking to be a church focused on transformation; we want to help each other live the life Jesus lived. Like generations before us, we desire the pearl of great price. We desire the hidden treasure. We want Jesus.

We have decided that the work of Calvary is to proclaim the good news of Jesus and his kingdom and then invite anyone and everyone into it. Our invitation is into discipleship—learning to live the life that Jesus lived.

Discipleship is not a fad for us. There is agreement that without a focus on being with and becoming like Jesus, the church at large will wander into obscurity. Our focus right now is not growing a bigger church but growing big Christians. Our long term strategy for growth is simple: a community filled with being-transformed men and women who are living like Christ in the world; such a community will shine like a bright light in this dark world.

For this to be possible, this is our mantra: everything is discipleship. Is there a decision to be made? What should we teach on? What should we sing? How should we handle conflict? Who should be a leader? How do we navigate preferences and opinions.? How do we deal with a consumer culture that has invaded the church? To every question, answer, circumstance and conflict, we see it as an opportunity for discipleship—leaning on him and becoming like him. Everything is discipleship! If this is how we function,we will be a community filled with little-Christs.

We have come a long way and still have a ways to go. One of the most difficult challenges I have as a leader is articulating what we are seeking to do and how it’s different than what is happening in many churches.

Recently, I found an older, twenty-minute video from Dallas Willard that perfectly describes Calvary’s journey. It gives a context and a unique view of our journey. Much of the video is what Calvary has had to face the last six years. Some of it is about what is before Calvary. All of it confirms that Calvary is going the right way. It filled me with encouragement. We are part of a great awakening in the United States. I commend it to you: Implementing “disciples making disciples” in the local church

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