Saturday, October 10, 2009

Recovering an Important Truth

You learn a lot when you lead a conference, especially when you get good questions from the participants. I was leading a workshop on Discovering Disciple Development Coaching in Mississippi over the weekend. The concept I was presenting was that healthy people have the ability to discover the answers to their own problems—spiritual, relational, professional. What we need to do is provide a climate to help them discover those answers, plan how to implement those answers, and then hold them accountable.

The question went something like this: “How will people in the church respond to this? They are used to coming to the church to receive direction and answers. How will they respond to the idea of finding their own answers?”

As we processed this together, I suggested that believers do need biblical information and teaching, but they also need to learn how to make decisions for themselves. Jesus walked with his disciples, taught them and encouraged them, but when he was gone, they had to take up the mission that he had given them. They had been fed, now it was their turn to feed. The process of discipleship resulted in a capable believer.

This is a key concept of the priesthood of every believer—each individual not only has direct access to God but the responsibility to be a priest to other believers. We receive a gift and then we are to gift others. Sometimes I hear an individual complain that they are “not being fed in their present church.” Interesting comment since babies and the infirm are the only people who need assistance to receive sustenance. The healthy, mature person can feed himself or herself.

The goal of discipleship is not simply to be a better follower but a competent and responsible leader. This is Christian discipleship. The strange thing is how surprising this is to many Christians!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog entry Ircel. Great rhetorical issue to ask myself how I see myself in God's kingdom on earth.