“It’s the first time in my ministry where I see people getting it, moving on and telling their story with vim and vigor.”
“We are seeing the inner workings of a revival taking place and it’s happening because people are sharing their lives in a practical way.”
“As a church planter it felt like I spent ten years dragging, pushing, shoving and going the hard route. Now all I’m doing is facilitating and it’s awesome.”
Sounds pretty good right? Keep reading because that’s not even the best part.
These quotes are from a conversation I had a couple of months ago with Bruce Kellar, Pastor of Through the Roof, in Flinton, ON. I was interviewing him about a community engagement piece for the MOSAIC but as we talked we both realized that his was a story of discipleship. And one that needs to be shared.
About two and a half years ago Through the Roof recognized a pattern: people who were saved and baptized were immediately brought into the church with the opportunity to take on roles and responsibilities but over time it became clear that they were not equipped to handle them so Through the Roof began an experiment.
The experiment was called Taking the Journey. As Bruce explained, “The first group of people started The Journey over two years ago after they were baptized. It began as extensive teaching on what it means to be a Christian. We had open, informal discussions where everyone was comfortable to share and ask questions. We became a very unique community.”
Through the Roof decided to dig a little deeper with these folks and here is the list of teachings they walked through together as a community:
- Dan Sheffield’s discipleship material
- Conflict resolution
- How to express/share your testimony within God’s bigger testimony
- How to plant seeds and witness
- Spiritual gifts and how to use them in a tangible way.
“So far three groups of people have walked through The Journey and what a dynamic difference it has made to the growth of the church. Once approved for membership several people have been elected to leadership positions. We are seeing a chain reaction as the new group walking through The Journey are being discipled by these new leaders not the pastor.”
(That bit about new disciples ready and eager to disciple – that’s the best part I mentioned at the outset.)
Bruce admits, “It is an extensive process but it has taken off and I am beside myself. My goodness now I get the idea of what discipleship is all about. It’s kinda cool.”
Bruce is clear that it is God who gets the glory here, “It’s not that we are doing everything so right. Jesus says,” “I will build the church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”” (Matthew 16:18 ESV). And what I want to focus on is what Jesus asked us to do. He said, ““Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”” (Matthew 28:19 ESV). If we do our part of going and making disciples then Jesus uses this to build the church and this is a practical story to that application. We are seeing the church start to explode.”