Over the past week, we have been discussing the importance of the INTENTIONAL elements of spiritual growth. There is nothing so important in the life of a follower of Jesus, than constant realignment to the Good News (the Gospel). Through perpetual surrender to Jesus the King, a disciple of Jesus is aligned to God’s movement.
After His resurrection, Jesus gathered again with His disciples and gave them the gift of a few final instructions, and a great mission for each disciple to pursue collectively for the Kingdom of God::
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
(Matthew 28.18-20 // NIV)
These words outline the collective mission of each local church::
Remedy Church is a GOing, BEing, DOing church.
We communicate our collective mission as a local church as Go, Be, and Do.
Make Disciples:: Go
Teach Disciples:: Be
Send Disciples:: Do
The local church is commissioned to shepherd each disciple toward spiritual maturity. When a new believer chooses to follow Jesus as King, this believer is invited into a powerful model of mission, and a beautiful expression of growth:: from childhood, to adulthood, to parenthood.
When a person chooses to follow Jesus, their spiritual maturity begins with the planting of the Gospel seed. This beginning is much like the early trust and life of a child. Every disciple begins with childhood.
As a person grows in discipleship, the seed is watered and each disciple begins to live the responsibility of obedience and life of faith through the Gospel. This season is a necessary next step where each disciple must claim their faith as their own. Every disciple who chooses to obey Jesus as King begins to move from the early faith of childhood to the faith of adulthood.
The next stage of spiritual growth is characterized by a life of discipleship. Parenthood is multiplication. Parenthood is discipling others. Parenthood is receiving the Gospel as a child, owning the Gospel as an adult, and growing to live the Gospel as a parent.
As disciples, we especially long for the blessing of those who have gone before us. In discipleship, we are able to learn from those who have received the discipleship which they can now bestow upon us. Effective discipleship must include disciples of Jesus who willingly and readily bestow (multiply) the blessing God has entrusted to them.
The only effective model for discipleship is continual reorientation to the Gospel of Jesus the King in the context of covenant community. Spiritual growth is the process by which the Gospel of Jesus grows in a disciple. This is the way we love one another toward alignment to God’s mission. This is the alignment of the Gospel lived. This is the process of discipleship. This is spiritual growth.
The following chart illustrates this growth from childhood to parenthood as the local church lives out the Kingdom commission to make disciples, teach disciples, and send disciples…