Jesus is the central relationship in my life – I am a Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciple
This describes a disciple whose life has been surrendered over to God for renovation and empowerment – they are willing to risk everything. God’s priorities, values and the practices of kingdom living are becoming second nature. The fullness of God’s intentions (shalom) are becoming real in both inner and outer life desires, choices and lifestyle.
At this milepost of Christian formation what is needed to help the Jesus-centred disciple further along their journey?
- Help in understanding the Bible better. Moving beyond their deepening understanding of the themes, teachings, and expectations of the Bible, the Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciple continues to be nurtured, aided and challenged by their encounter with the God of the Bible. They are largely self-feeding in their understanding of Scripture, but is greatly aided by teaching and discipling others from the Bible.
- Help developing relationship with Jesus. The Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciple will have reached a point of surrender in their relationship with Jesus. As core issues and habits of the old life have resurfaced deep healing has occurred along with fresh understanding of the deeper life in Christ. Humble, loving, available, other-centredness; distinguishing factors in Jesus’ life and ministry (even to death on a cross); emerges as a way of life. A mature, spiritual director or mentor will be valued.
- Church leaders who model and reinforce how to grow. Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciples need ‘fellow-travellers’ who will walk with them through the challenges of reorienting everyday life around kingdom values and practices. They should be leading an ongoing small group community focused on developing and holding one another accountable for outward-oriented, missional living in their homes and in their communities.
- Challenge to grow and take next steps. Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciples need opportunities to put all their resources (gifts, knowledge, wisdom, experience) into kingdom service. Growth emerges in the form of active use of gifts that build up the body of believers and touch the lives those outside of the family. Targeted training outside the local church will be valued.
- Encouragement to take personal responsibility for growth. At this point in their journey, the Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciple assumes responsibility for their own growth, even as they nurture others, and needs to be encouraged onward in this direction, perhaps by a mature spiritual director or mentor.
- Our natural orientation is to be self-serving, the Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciple will need to pay continued attention to others – the neighbour, the stranger; may actively lead an others-oriented ministry
- A continued willingness to be available to serve/lead in Christian community
- Assume ongoing personal responsibility for Christian growth within helpful context of a small group community
Key attitudes toward the Jesus-centred disciple
GIVE LEADERSHIP responsibilities
EXPECT REPRODUCTION with new believers and disciple-making
After You Believe by N T Wright [Amazon.ca]
The Ministry of the Missional Church by Craig Van Gelder [Amazon.ca]
Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation, Robert Mulholland Jr. [Amazon.ca]
A Model for Making Disciples: John Wesley’s Class Meeting, Michael Henderson [Amazon.ca]
Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster [Amazon.ca]
Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time, Ogden [Amazon.ca]