We now must ask a huge question as we continue on this 50-day spiritual journey. If I am truly a chosen, loved, accepted, purchased, forgiven, righteous, indwelt, empowered, sanctified child of God who loves, glorifies, treasures, submits, and relies upon Him for daily grace….And…
I am to live as a missionary who is sent into the world to share the gospel…and…I am baptized into the family of God to experience love and encouragement in fellowship….and… I am to be filling my heart and mind with the Word of God not only for information, but also for transformation….THEN…
Here’s the big question: What is the BEST context to actually live this out in my life with Emmanuel Baptist Church?
While “one on one” disciple-making has been popular, as well as triads/life transformation groups, these have prohibited the largest number of people connected to the church body getting involved in the disciple-making process.
On the other hand, the large group worship service is the primary vehicle for the proclamation of God’s Word, but there is no opportunity for feedback, dialogue, application, nor the most effective way to put into practice what it means to live as a disciple.
Jesus Himself had a small group of twelve disciples that he trained, equipped, taught, lived on mission with, and experienced life together. He preached to the crowds as well as he had a triad of Peter, James and John.
In addition, we see in Acts the large gathering where preaching occurred, but we also see that they meet in homes and in smaller groups.
Read Acts 5:42
At Emmanuel, we desire to follow this Biblical pattern of large group gatherings for preaching, music, observing the ordinances of baptism and Lord’s Supper for corporate edification, but we also desire to have an effective context where disciple-making can actually take place.
This is expressed in a disciple-making small group.
Tomorrow we will unpack what this means, but for today, I want you to see that growing to be conformed to the image of Christ is not something you can do in isolation. It is not a lone-ranger mentality where you can live disconnected from your church family and somehow hope to grow in the way that God desires for you to grow. You most clearly express your identity in Christ and your obedience to Christ when you live in community with other believers.
Read Acts 2:42-47
Think about how Emmanuel would look differently if we consistently put these verses into practice within the total life of our church? Would you want to be part of a movement of God where this is happening?
Begin right now asking God to put a desire in your heart to experience growth in grace through participation in a community of believers. You may not really know what that looks like right now, but the Bible is very clear that we were meant to grow TOGETHER in fellowship and community.
I see the wonderful things you did in Acts among the early church and really desire that to be a reality in my life and the life of our church. I may not understand what a disciple-making small group is but I truly want to experience growth in community. I want to have the value of other believers walking beside me in this process of becoming more like you. I want to live out my identity in You with others and I want to obey you with their help. Please put a desire in my heart to grow through participation in a disciple-making small group.