Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lifelong Learner

Matthew 28:18-20 - The Great Commission
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The church’s core mission is to make disciples.  This call of discipleship is offered to everyone who is willing to follow Jesus.  Jesus’ invitation, “Follow Me,” is found throughout the Gospels and continues through the centuries to this very day.  But what does it really mean to “follow” Jesus?  How does the church teach disciples “to obey all the commands” Jesus gave us?  If this is our church’s main assignment, how do we do it well?

The word disciple would best be understood today as “student.”  Actually, I like to use the term, “lifelong learner.”  There is an understanding that we will be in a continual growth mode toward maturity as we seek to obey all Christ commands His disciples to do.  It’s not about perfection, its about growth.  This maturation process is often called “spiritual growth” or spiritual formation.”  

Dallas Willard defines spiritual growth as the, “process of an individual taking on the character of Christ.”  He goes on to define spiritual formation as, “moving from conformity with this world to conformity with Christ.”  I like to think of it as moving from the 1.0 version of ourself to the new upgraded 2.0 version.  However you define or think about it discipleship needs to be an active process in your life.