As a disciple, you should have a committed relationship with Christ, a relationship with a more experienced believer who can pour into you, pray for you, and hold you accountable to your godly pursuits, and a relationship with someone less experienced in the faith in order to help him/her to walk with God.
Miles issued a new challenge for this year: that you would become a disciple. This is different from being a “convert” or labeling yourself “Christian.” As a disciple, you should have a committed relationship with Christ, a relationship with a more experienced believer who can pour into you, pray for you, and hold you accountable to your godly pursuits, and a relationship with someone less experienced in the faith in order to help him/her to walk with God.
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-20
Jesus summarizes the three main characteristics of discipleship when he calls his own discipleship:
- In saying, “Follow me” as the men are about their business, Jesus implies that they will need to leave something behind in order to begin their focused training with Him.
- In saying, “I will make you,” Jesus implies that He will provide a transformation in their lives.
- In saying, “fishers of men,” Jesus implies that they will bring other people to faith.
Today’s message focuses on how we pursue discipleship here at the Rock.
Our Mission: Save, Equip, Send
Jesus gave the church the business of making disciples.
Save - help others understand and accept Christ’s free gift of salvation
Equip - engaging with Christ to undergo the life-long process of transformation that He has promised
Send - go out and find other men and women who need to know Jesus
The four ways that people become saved through the Rock are captured in the phrase: SOOO Good!
- Sunday (by attending or viewing Sunday services)
- One-on-one (church members personally sharing the gospel with people they know)
- Outreach (events or ministries that serve the community)
- Online (using the Rock’s online resources, over 175,000 people have indicated a decision to follow Christ since March 1)
Pastor Miles led us through a practical exercise in offering salvation to the lost by using text messaging:
Using text message, your can send to an unsaved friend a short 3-4 min video that Miles produced. At the end of the video, the friend will be asked if s/he wants to receive Christ. Last service, 1220 people sent this video and 72 people got saved immediately.
Step 1) Text “Share” to 52525
Step 2) Type in your first and last name (so the friend knows it’s not spam) - Send
Step 3) Type the number of the person (10 digits, no spaces)
Step 4) You can preview the video if you like - then type “Y” to confirm
Step 5) Success! Pray for the person.
If your friend accepts Christ after viewing the video, you will immediately receive a notification text. You and your friend will both receive a link to a free resource about how to get started in a walk with God, how to read and reflect on the Bible, etc. You can download the book as well to encourage your friend or to set up times to go through the book together.
Follow up with your friend. Call and ask if he received the video. Invite her to come to church. This is what disciples do!
If you have already accepted Christ as your Savior, the next step is to be equipped. This is a lifelong process, but the first step is to attend LIFE Class, where we learn about building the hallmarks of a life of discipleship:
- Loving relationships (joining a small group, church membership)
- Impacting ministry (learning about your own personal strengths and how to best use them to serve others)
- Faithful stewardship (how to invest your time, talent, and treasure toward the Kingdom of God)
- Evangelizing the lost (sharing the Gospel with others)
The goal of LIFE Class is to get you connected with a small group, to explore your God-given abilities, and to identify several options for service in ministry, according to your gifts. This leads to the SEND part of our mission as a church body - that you may be sent out into the community to bring the love of Christ to others.
The church exists not to have meetings, nor is it intended to be all you need to grow in discipleship. You need Christian relationships and to practice what you are learning out into the world! Pastor Miles likened church to a football huddle; team members gather to call the play, and then they break and execute the play. No spectator watches football to see the huddle; he watches to see the play!
This is your chance to embrace the challenge to be a disciple, not just a convert. It’s time to move forward in making a commitment to follow Jesus, invest in relationships, be accountable to a mature believer and invest in a new believer or someone who doesn’t yet know Christ!