By Not Known
Alan Hirsch presented an interesting and thought-provoking video entitled, “Why Evangelism Can’t Be Our Focus.” In it, he argued that “We must not stop sharing the good news, but here’s the deal, here’s the wonderful thing, it gets done along the way as you do discipleship. The Great Commission is just about going to disciple the nations and you know what happens…as you disciple them evangelism takes place, because it’s done in the context of discipleship.” Hence, the focus of the church should not be on evangelism but on discipleship.
So, the issue is: evangelism is done as we disciple the nations…Just disciple the nations and on the way they get to hear the story of God through our spiritual journey.
At the same time, when a church is not evangelising, it simply means disciples are not maturing and growing. For when disciples are growing, the church will be involved in sharing the Gospel.
The church’s focus must then be on growing and developing disciples, a community of believers who is deeply growing in God’s word, obeying what God says, and maturing in the process of their relationships with God.
The church becomes the bedrock of discipling growth, providing the environment for deepening relationships between God, believers and the world around us. What does such a church look like? Two things characterise such a church:
1. The church is founded on God’s Word. It is a community that comes regularly together and growing together to learn from God and to be guided and directed by what God says. The preaching of God’s word is the central focus in everything she does. It is a Gospel-centred church to multiply disciples within this community through a systematic and conscientious study of God’s word.
2. It is also a church that thrives on being a “fellowship”. She knows that the members of the community are not perfect yet are willing to accept one another, encourage one another, and to build one another up. Members are willing to be vulnerable and to take risks to share and to be involved in each other’s lives. It is a community that practices and lives out God’s calling the way Jesus wanted it to be — no finger-pointing, no thumbing-down, and no side-line shouting. Instead, it is marked by personal involvement, humble participation, and proactive engagement and contribution. It is such a community that reaches out not just to one another but also to those outside the church.
As a result, the vision of a discipling church is to develop an active and vibrant body that is deeply rooted in God’s word and that reaches out to the world around us spontaneously in a variety of ways through multiple ministries.
This week, as we have a record number of campers coming together for our annual church camp, let us remember these two characteristics of a discipling church. Let us seek God to develop ORPC as an intentional disciple-making church so that we may grow the way God wants us to.