What does discipleship mean to you? If we asked around the room we might find that we have several definitions emerge. In the truest sense, a disciple is one who learns from and models their life after their teacher.
Most of you went to school throughout your early years and were able to complete some grade of achievement—Grade 8, Grade 12, college and university diplomas or degrees. You can point to that as a measurement of how far you went.
Would you say though that you were a disciple of all your teachers? No, we would point to one or two that made a significant impression on us, but we mostly had teachers to give us information, help us problem solve and get us to the next level.
We often view Christian Education in the same way. We have many teachers, but few spiritual parents as Paul referred to. Discipleship is not as linear as our educational systems. The end goal of Christian education is not just information, but is wrapped in transformation.
While we have many valuable resources that inform and inspire, the world needs a Christian discipleship that is primarily relational and immersive.
If you follow Jesus and he goes to where the greatest needs of the world exist, you will get good discipleship. You will learn how to heal, be a friend to sinners, speak the truth in love and carry a cross.
We need to rethink Christian Education when we go into the world with the Gospel. We must become less linear and more cyclical or seasonal. You may have focused on a JK to Grade 12 progression in your ministry, but have you made disciples who know about practicing the Gospel in the context of your community?
We need to view people as seasonal creatures that often come out in the spring and hibernate in the winter. Not everything happens on a school calendar.
If you grew up not being able to experience stability and achievement in school, why would being in a 10-week course appeal to you? If you lack functional structures, you rely on functional relationships to help you.
As we encounter people that are living with the curse of sin they inherited from their grandparents, we find that sin is easy to master. You can learn it in a second and repeat endlessly.
As we think about the blessings of God that extend to a thousand generations, these things require a discipleship that take a lifetime to master and transmit to the next generation.
(You can watch the full message athttp://wearegateway.ca/sermon/community-what-weve-learned-part-2/ )