Followers of Jesus are those who have embraced His Person and His work as lived out in His earthly ministry, His sacrificial death on the cross, His conquering of death through His resurrection and His offering of life eternal to those who believe. And for those who believe . . . saved by His grace . . . there is a calling . . . the calling of discipleship . . . become a disciple and make disciples.
This series is about both becoming and making. Of embracing the grace of God’s saving offer through His Son Jesus and the stewardship of carrying that grace through His image, lived out in us, to those He is yet to call into relationship with Himself. For the saved, imaging Christ becomes a central privilege and duty of life through which, they fulfill these crucial last injunctions of Jesus before His return to the Father:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I commanded you . . ..” (Matt. 28:19-20)
“. . . but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“(Father) As you have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
A Biblical Disciple
Discipleship is a defining aspect of both the purpose and the journey of a follower of Jesus. However, the understanding of discipleship today is often unclear, leading to ineffective practice and outcomes. This initial session focuses attention on answering this question: what is a biblical disciple?
In this session, you will engage God’s story. As you will learn, it is all about God inviting them into His story and not them inviting Him into theirs.
Distortions of the Image
In this session, you will see that there are factors that may distort the disciple’s view and their living out of God’s image. Those influences may come from within the disciple as a result of prior experiences, for instance, or may come from external influences.
Worship as God desires it sustains life’s true north for the developing disciple. Beginning with a beautiful quote from 20th century saint William Temple, this session takes you on a journey through the elements that define true worship and in some cases, distort it.
Telling the Story of God
Imaging God is what disciples of Jesus do. They do it to God, to other believers and to a community outside the family of God. In this session, you will encounter a community in Acts 2 that did just that.
The Disciple's Mission
In this session you will discover that disciples are sent people with the assignment to image God. And you'll learn how to keep that image fresh and effective within their lives, as well as in the life of their churches.
Sustaining Mission Clarity
In the prior session you saw how word and incarnation fit in the role of discipleship as they are applied in Kingdom and cultural settings. In this session, the instructor will help you see that, when misapplied, these same actions (word and incarnation) can distort the process along with the outcomes in the life of a disciple or a discipleship community (church).
Bill Clem formerly served as the campus pastor of Mars Hill Church's Ballard campus in Seattle, WA, the largest of nine Mars Hill campuses. He also more recently served as Pastor of Leadership Formation at Imago Dei Community Church in Portland, OR. After transitioning out of leadership at Imago Dei Community Church, he has taken on the role of Director of the Center for Pastoral Flourishing at Western Seminary (Portland, OR), where he received his master's degree. He is a father of 4 and grandfather of 8 with a life of ministry experience that includes student ministry, college ministry and church planting.