Discipleship Matters Conclusion
A Note from Michael Gossett
DISCIPLESHIP MATTERS CONCLUSION
As we conclude our series on Discipleship, I would like to recap what we have learned. My hope is that as a church we continue to grow in our understanding of discipleship. As the pastor, I will continue to lead us toward not only correct Biblical doctrine, but in understanding how that doctrine will impact our efforts as a church family.
When we began this series, we began in the Great Commission. We understand that the Great Commission was not intended for the disciples alone, but for the entire church. Therefore, the Great Commission still applies to every believer today—that is, you and me! As we examine the Great Commission, we see three participles that provide for us the specific indicators for how we are to accomplish this great task of telling the entire world about the transforming truth of Jesus! Those three participles are πορευθέντες (“go”), βαπτίζοντες (“baptizing”), and διδάσκοντες (“teaching”). In other words, these are the three participles that provide the framework for our role in the carrying out of the Great Commission. These three actions of going, baptizing, and teaching apply to believers at the individual level and to the church at the corporate level. Together, when we participate in the Great Commission, we are also fulfilling our intended role as the Bride of Christ, that is—the church!
A further examination of Scripture in this series provided more insight into our approach. By looking at Jesus, we can learn more about how to most effectively fulfill our role as disciple-makers. There were a few notable things about Jesus’ approach to developing leaders and making disciples that we can all apply to our own lives. Based on John 3:22, we noted that Jesus simply spent time with those he was discipling and developing. “After this, Jesus and his disciples went to the Judean countryside, where he spent time with them…” This is where all disciple-making relationships begin by simply being intentional with both who we spend our time with and how that time is spent. Within Jesus’ example of developing the disciples, we can see three distinct phases of leader development that Jesus employed. First, Jesus mentored his disciples. They beheld miracles, heard Jesus teach, watched how He responded to the Pharisees, and most importantly, observed Jesus as a servant leader committed to the will of His Father. The second phase of Jesus’ leader development was apprenticeship. As Jesus’ level of expectation elevated, they moved from casual observers to active participants. Finally, Jesus became a coach for the disciples. Jesus began deploying the disciples into ministry opportunities without His presence.
As we wrapped-up this series on discipleship, I articulated how we are being intentional about discipleship at Green Acres. It is no secret that at Green Acres, the primary vehicle for discipleship is our Connect Group ministry. A healthy Connect Group is a Biblically based model for developing leaders and deploying disciples. Healthy Connect Groups are in a constant state of developing new leaders and forming new Connect Groups in order to carry on the Great Commission. And this is not new, rather we see it modeled all throughout the New Testament.
I am so thankful for our Connect Group leaders, specifically because of the way they selflessly lead our church family. I believe this is part of Pastor David’s legacy. Pastor David was famous for saying, “If you only have one hour to give, don’t come and hear me but visit one of our groups.” Often when we get contacted about a matter of pastoral care, I find that our Connect Group leaders are already there ministering. If you are one of these leaders, thank you. If you are in a group but have not found your place of serving, let me encourage you to reach out to your Connect Group leaders and find your unique place of leadership. Each of us have a role to play! Perhaps you are reading this, and you have not found a Connect Group. That’s okay! Each week at the Connection Suite we are recommending Connect Groups for those who are new to our church, and we would love to help you find a group this weekend. You can view all our Connect Groups by CLICKING HERE
As we conclude this series, my heart is that we would seek to follow the example of developing leaders that we see in Scripture. What would Green Acres Baptist Church look like if we sought to emulate Jesus and took the commands of the Great Commission to heart. What would our church family look like if we committed not only to live together in Biblical community, but to invite others in, invest in one another, and together carry out the Great Commission?
You are loved and you are prayed for,
 Reference to John 3:22, emphasis mine.