Pentecostal discipleship has its origin in the nature and mission of God. God owns everything and God desires that all people share in the blessings of God’s good creation. At the very core of existence is grace, and creation itself is permeated with God’s grace.

Wesley was convinced that the goal of Christian discipleship is holiness of heart and life. By “holiness” he means active love—to God (‘inward holiness) and to neighbor (‘outward holiness’). Holiness of heart and life describe the character of life that is dedicated to following Jesus Christ in the world and obeying his teachings.

The Christian gospel declares God’s promise to bring forth a new creation in Christ. The church can make the most difference in the world when it tends to the Word. It tends to the Word in catechesis and proclamation. Discipleship happens best when peoples’ horizons are situated and discerned through the variegated and manifold lens of Scripture.

Christ is our example as we live lives of service to others in the various offices which we hold in relation to others.

The mission of the Church to all the nations, to all human communities in all their diversity and in all their particularity, is itself the mighty work of God, the sign of the in breaking of the kingdom. It is God who acts in the power of his Spirit, doing mighty works, creating signs of a new age, working sincerely in the hearts of men and women to draw them to Christ.

Michael W. Foss author of “Six Marks of Discipleship for a Changing Church” notes that there are six crucial characteristics of discipleship: 

These characteristics distinguish discipleship from mere church-membership. Membership is about getting; discipleship is about giving. Membership is about dues; discipleship is about stewardship. Membership is about favoring a select group; discipleship is about changing lives.

The postmodern evangelistic engagement should therefore be one of creativity, innovation, and diversity under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The God we serve is a creative God. He believes in diversity and created diversity in the sea, among fishes, birds, mountains, valleys, and different races.

Isaiah prophesies, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is. 43:19, KJV)

The calling of God to us is never silenced, and we are always being drawn (raised up) to new possibilities. Discipleship as creativity, and discipleship as faith, commits itself equally to this. It will be about knowing that the community of faith, and ourselves as Christians, minister to each other by remaining true to what is the church’s own, and our, vocation. That is, our vocation is to keep embracing the insights of God’s presence as these lead us on, in and into discovering what it is to be human in Christ in the world around us.

To follow Christ, the Word made flesh, is to recognize that vocation is inherently part of what it is to be human, and it is to discover the vocation to our creativity and humanity in enriching our discipleship through learning.

 

Blessings

 

Pastor Mark
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