Summary: The Process of Discipleship (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(1). The Soldier (vs 3-4, 8-13)
(2). The Athlete (vs 5)
(3). The Farmer (vs 6-7)
(4). The Victor (vs 8-13)
• Just imagine a factory in the UK of about 40-50 employees;
• The aim of that factory is to produce shoes.
• To help the factory become a success;
• 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 in operation and many of the workers can be seen scurrying to and fro.
• Machines are running full blast,
• And activity is at a maximum.
• Then one day the owner of the factory asks the production manager,
• “How many shoes have we produced so far?”
• To his surprise the production manager answers: “None”
• So the factory owner exclaims; “How long have we been in operation?”
• The production manager replies: “Years and years.”
• The factory owner can’t quite believe his ears and comments:
• “Did you say years and years? And still no shoes?”
• The production manager says:
• “That’s right, no shoes, but we sure are really busy.
• In fact, we have been so busy that we are all worn out”
• We all know what would happen in that situation:
• The factory owner would not just be concerned,
• He would probably fire somebody, and try to find out what the problem was.
• Now if we now put a cross on top of that building;
• And transform it into the church in Park Gate, Southampton!
• Our church, we will find much activity going on.
• Men and women are working hard.
• But…what is our end product…how many shoes/disciples are we producing?
• Now I know people are different from a product;
• And yet surely we should see results from time, money and effort invested!
• Remember that the objective of this local fellowship is to produce disciples.
• To help people of all ages and from all backgrounds come to a real faith in Jesus Christ;
• And to help them grow in their faith!
• The biblical word for that is discipleship!
• That is our purpose as a Church – to bring folks to Jesus (make converts);
• And then to bring them closer (make disciples).
Quote: Alan Redpath the late great British evangelist, pastor and author.
"The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment,
but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime."
• Becoming a Christian, a follower of Jesus may start suddenly;
• Can happen this morning, if you are willing to take a step of faith;
• And invite the living Christ to be your saviour & Lord!
• But the learning process never ends this side of eternity!
• Our passage this morning is a reminder that discipleship is a process!