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Discipleship Through Community

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If discipleship happens best in a community of active Christ followers, then we must create environments that enable believers to participate actively in the ministry of the kingdom, regardless of their spiritual maturity. We must facilitate discipleship climates where we immediately invite new Christians to participate fully in ministering the kingdom. In environments full of love, grace and forgiveness Christians will mature while ministering one to another. This means we must avoid creating a two-tiered class system of “disciples of Christ” who do the ministry and the “saved but not yet ready” who are being served rather than serving. In other words, the church is to function as Jesus did with his twelve disciples. Once individuals decide to follow Jesus, the church’s responsibility is to call them to engage in working for the kingdom of God. Jesus is the path, the way, the destination and the ultimate maker of disciples. When people follow Jesus, discipleship happens because he is the great shepherd of the sheep.

 

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Copyright © 2017 by Douglas S. Bursch. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

 

Further Reading:

Read John Lathrop’s review of Douglas S. Bursch, The Community of God.

Stephen Lim, “Elephant in the Church: Identifying Hindrances and Strategies for Discipleship

How Should we Lead the Church? A Pneuma Review Conversation

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2019

About the Author: Dr. Douglas S. Bursch co-pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church in Auburn, Washington. He is married to his lifelong sweetheart, Jennifer. They enjoy raising their four children together and ministering as a team. Doug serves on the Doctrine Committee and Education Commission of The Foursquare Church and has taught theology courses as adjunct faculty for Life Pacific College and Life Ministry Institute. Doug received his Master of Divinity at The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry at Portland Seminary of George Fox University. Doug has produced and hosted over 1,200 Christian radio broadcasts and currently hosts The Fairly Spiritual Show radio and podcast program. Twitter: @fairlyspiritual

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