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Reflections on Discipleship from Triennial 2022

DISCIPLESHIP is a word that has always caused me to grapple with its true meaning. Often, thinking about its meaning causes me to feel inadequate and somewhat guilty as if I just need to do more to qualify as a true disciple. Basically, discipleship means following one's example and teachings.

Following Jesus involves living our lives as closely to His example as we can possibly do. It is a life-long process as we keep His example before us as found in His Word and revealed to us through His Spirit.

Brad Brisco, our General Conference speaker this year, made some comments that caused me to approach the meaning of discipleship a bit differently than I had been used to seeing it. In defining discipleship, he seemed to focus more on what God was doing through me rather than what I was doing for God, a new concept for me to consider. As a disciple, I needed to discover what God is doing, how He wants me to participate, how I am to be obedient and discerning, and that I need to reflect on His will being done.

One of the takeaways from Brad's teaching was that one should not overlook the “little things” in which you are involved. Those “little things” may touch others' lives in ways that you will never be aware. For instance, sending cards, making meals, hosting small groups, and giving cookies are a few examples. Often, we feel that we are faithful disciples when we are doing “big” things, things that are recognized as “important.” But God uses us most often in the everyday, mundane circumstances of our lives to work through us to affect the lives of others. Having the attitude of servant leadership rewards our actions as we choose to serve the Lord by serving others.

In the spirit of our General Conference theme, Reimagine, I suggest that we learn to reimagine our acts of discipleship in keeping with 1 Peter 4:10 which says “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.” Also, we should follow the admonition of Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

One final takeaway from Brad Brisco is the idea that discipleship actually begins before the conversion experience. It is all a process of becoming a disciple or a follower of Jesus Christ. A disciple makes other disciples.

Sally Green has been involved with Women's Ministries for many years. She served faithfully on the leadership team and has written many articles for our CGWM Newsletter in recent years.

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