Summary: Learning how to rethink discipleship in the modern church.

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You Got Stinkin Thinkin – Part 1

Rethinking Discipleship

Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matt 28:18-20)

Picture a large manufacturing plant in your town or city that produces shoes. The management has invested great sums of money and many man-hours into the plant to produce the finest shoes possible. Money has been spent on salaries for the employees, machinery for shoe making, and materials from which the shoes are to be made. The plant is now in operation with hundreds of workers scurrying to and fro. Machines are running full blast, and activity is at a maximum.

One day the president asks the production manager, "How many shoes have we produced so far?"

"None," the manager answers.

"None?" the president exclaims. "How long have we been in operation?"

"Two years."

"Two years? And still no shoes?"

"That’s right," the manager says, "No shoes, but we are really busy. In fact, we have been so busy that we are all nearly tired out. We’ve been very active at our jobs."

The management would probably be very concerned, fire somebody, and try to find out what the problem was.

If we now put a cross on top of that building and transform it into the church on the corner, your church, we find much activity going on. Men and women are working hard.

• It is easy to hear something like this and think… “Yeah why doesn’t the church seem like it’s really making disciples?”

• The real question however is to look at ourselves and ask… are we working hard at “church” and still not making disciples?

Disciples – Matheteuo –

a. to be a disciple of one

b. to follow his precepts and instructions

1. to make a disciple

2. to teach, instruct

Discipleship is more than a class or a book to read.

• Dr. Ralph Neighbor states that “Discipleship is sharing and caring”

o Most of the true discipleship I received as I began to walk toward my calling was in living rooms after dinner and in the dark chatting when I spent the night with my friends.

• Following Christ works best when we follow with others.

o And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ’s. (1 Cor 11:1)

• Ask yourself… where am I really connected with other believers?

o Pewwarming will not connect you with anyone.

o Neither will going from Church looking to get “fed”

o Self-feeding believers will be the ones who can best connect and as such will be the ones who are best discipled and disciple others.

Discipleship is not an Olympic event.

• “Well the sermon today was a 7… but his bible studies are normally a 9!”

• Living life well together is discipleship… sometimes it is intense, powerful, and profound. At other times you will find you are eating baloney hot dogs, cleaning a garage, and watching a stupid movie.

o This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before. As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs. (1 Thes 4:11-12)

• If we expect every Christian experience to “sizzle” we will be disappointed. It is a lot like expecting every day to be Christmas.

• Discipleship is learning how to live the average days well. Together.

“I love the idea of small-groups… but I don’t want to attend one”

• To often the church labels things and we get sick of the labeled package.

o The basic idea of small groups is rooted in discipleship… and discipleship is rooted in relationships and friendship. These are all good things.

o I’ve been to a lot of small groups that were like bad meetings.

• If we are going to build relationships and make disciples a few things should be understood.

o We should meet with people we like.

 I like meeting with some people more than others. (I can’t believe I’m admitting this!)

 This must be balanced… we should not push anyone out… we should not be cliquish. In general however discipleship is more effective when done with people we are connected with.

o We should do and study things we are interested in!

 If you love surfing… get a group of believers together and surf!

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