I want to wrap up the series of posts on what Sojourn values. I hope the posts have encouraged you and I also hope that they function as a clear invitation to be about this kind of living. This series was never intended to hit everything, but I did want to offer a picture of what we want our church to be. Many of the values we hold here are values that I/we paid no attention to just a few years ago. I am thankful for God's continual softening and humbling of our church. We needed to change, we still need to change, and we should rejoice that God, through his Spirit, will complete the work He has started. (Phil. 1:6)
The last value I want to point to is huge. Many books have been written about it and a large portion of the Bible is written about it. There are many resources, but very few churches or Christians are actually doing it.
Making More and Better Disciples of Jesus
Jesus' life, example, teaching and final words all point to the need and priority of making disciples. A disciple is a follower. A disciple of Jesus is a follower of Jesus. There is so much to offer in regard to definitions and process, but I simply want to say that as a church we believe that if we are not making more and better disciples of Jesus then we are failing. We want people who do not know Jesus to come to trust him as their One True Hope (more disciples). We want people who do know Jesus to grow in their trust and love for him (better disciples).
We say "more and better disciples" a lot, but how are we doing?
Well, let me put it this way: we are putting our time, energy and money where our "mouth" is. Last year God gave a great gift to our church in us being able to hire Lou Damiani as our Discipleship Coach. We are so thankful for his (and his wife's) influence on our leaders and on our church family. Over my 8 years here we have not been very effective at making disciples and the decision to invest time, energy and money specifically to grow as disciple-makers has been amazing. I wish disciple-making came more naturally but, at least for some of us, it is a learned skill but we are working at it. We still have a long way to go but I want you to know that our leadership team is fully committed to praying, stepping out, changing, learning and growing as a disciple-making church.
Jesus' final instructions were to go make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). By God's grace, we will give everything we have to do it. There is no "Plan B".