Hi Paul,

A couple of Sundays ago I launched our Disciple-Maker series where we’re exploring what it means to be a disciple of Jesus who makes disciples. A follower, not just a fan of Jesus.

It’s been great to hear some of the encouraging stories of people engaging with the disciple-maker mid-week Groups AND Church At Home last Sunday. If you’ve not joined in yet then there are still spaces!

In all of these settings – and anytime we come to grapple with the Bible – we want to challenge ourselves to own, and answer, these two key questions. Questions that force us to move beyond being a fan, to becoming a follower of Jesus.

1) What will I DO this week as a result of what I’ve learned from scripture?

This is the crux question. This moves us from a place of knowledge to a commitment to obedience. James tells us not to just listen to the word but do what it says (James 1:22).

Remember, the answer may be different for each of us. What action will we take in the light of what we have learned?

It’s not the size of the action that counts – although a little stretch is good. What’s important is to do, or try, something? Something that applies the learning and helps us grow.

Ideally, I want to encourage you to form what’s called an ‘I will…” statement. For example…

“As a result of what we’ve looked at today, I will commit to do a random act of kindness for a stranger before we next meet.”, OR
“As a result of what we’ve looked at today, I will commit to pray for 5 minutes a day until we next meet.”, OR
“As a result of what we’ve looked at today, I will contact my friend and take them out for coffee to see how they are..”
We ask this question as an act of obedience because disciples obey Christ as an expression of their love for, and commitment to, Him.

2) Who can I SHARE this with?

Ok, this will take things to another level, and this moves us from just being ‘disciples’ to ‘being disciples who make disciples’ i.e. we are sharing and reproducing. As our good friend Pete Gilbert often says, the good news has to be good news TO you and then THROUGH you.

Think about someone you know who, in the coming week, you could say something like “I was in my group/church and was really encouraged by something that I wanted to share with you.” Let’s get in the habit of sharing good news and encouragement. Pass it on.

At first, you may find it easier to do this with another christian, but start to stretch yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to give you opportunities to share with non-christians (I just found myself having a chat with my barber!).

Remember, 2023 is the year of shift. And these two questions shift us from simply ‘knowing stuff’ to ‘doing stuff’. And from ‘simply keeping it to ourselves’ to ‘passing it on to others’.

Jesus give us wisdom, courage and favour as we seek to do this.

May we be the bearers of Good News and blessing to many in the weeks to come.