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Summary: # 3 "The Six Pillars of A Powerful Church" - 1 Peter 2:1-3 / Ephesians 4:13-16 (Pillar 3 - The Pillar of DISCIPLESHIP)

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The Six Pillars of A Powerful Church -

“A Work in Progress…”

1 Peter 2:1-3 / Ephesians 4:13-16

(Pillar 3 - The Pillar of DISCIPLESHIP)

We continue looking at the six pillars that make a church powerful and effective, and today we look at the Pillar of being a church of disciples who are discipling. Through out the bible the process of growth is a prevalent theme. That is of each individual and church growing, maturing and becoming like God and then in the New Testament like Christ.

It is that every Christian is called to grow and every church is called to not only grow but to help others to grow -

So It takes disciples to make up a discipling church -

Living a life as a disciple is vital to your own Christian growth and to the growth of the Church body… and Christians’ truly living life as a disciple makes a church strong and growing and - Life as a Disciple

Requires Discipline - A man walked up to a vending machine, put in a coin, pressed the buttons labeled, “coffee, double cream, sugar.” No cup appeared, but the nozzles went into action sending forth coffee, cream and sugar. After the proper amounts had gone down the drain, the machine turned off. The man said “Now that’s real automation,”. “This thing even drinks it for you.”

That is just how some people want their discipleship. They want to make a deposit, put in some money and let the rest be taken care of automatically. But, there is no such thing as automated prayers, devotion, and worship in song or service. The relationship with Jesus requires personal discipline....

Discipline in Discipleship begins when making excuses ends.

But it is also - Intimate - that is that discipleship is about growing more intimate with and in your commitment to Jesus Christ…

It is being a - Student - A lifelong student.

Years ago when I a student in my first college I signed up for several classes. I would go every now and then - honestly I spent more time in the student union than class, and never read the books. But then I would get mad at the teacher and make excuses when I got the “F”…I was only a student of paper, I wasn’t a student in real life…

Provided your willing to be a student, no matter how old you get God’s word can and will always have a fresh thought or application for you life. It is reading, searching and finding new things.

So discipleship is Continual - The thing about discipleship is that it is a lifelong process. Graduation day is the day you see Jesus face to face. Discipleship is not something you achieve here. Paul wrote in Philippians that it won’t be perfected until Jesus returns… so you must press on and grow.

It is also about being Involved - You have to want to grow, to be involved in bible study and fellowship activities. You have to take some personal responsibility for being involved. And it is that personal responsibility to discipleship that is important and vital to your growth.

And that growth will be Positive Growth - frankly there is no such thing as negative growth… if it is not positive growth then it is spiritual stagnation, atrophy or death (all of which leave you weak and vulnerable). But positive growth leads to -

Living it out - It is taking all that you learn from the Word, the Spirit and your other church family that is supposed to be lived out in every aspect of you life.. In order to

Exemplify the Teacher - that is really the essence of discipleship - becoming like the teacher… for you and me it is becoming Christ like in our character - or as Paul put it in Ephesians 4:13 - “to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

Unfortunately today not many who profess will posses. They want to start being a Christian and just leave it at that… - like the little boy who constantly fell out of bed.

No matter what his parents did, the boy couldn’t sleep without rolling out of bed. An uncle came to visit and in the middle of the night the usual thump and cry was heard. In the morning the uncle teased the boy and asked him why he fell out so often. The little fellow thought for a moment and then said, “I don’t know, unless it’s because I stay too close to the place where I get in.”

But when a church is filled with true disciples who want to disciple others to God’s Word and the life of Jesus - they become a powerful church… and - A Discipling Church is a Powerful Church - Because It Is An -

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