Head Heart Hands: The Fully-Formed Disciple
In the Great Commission, Jesus directs us to create disciples. We take that pretty seriously. Jesus says "follow me" and disciples do that in a community called the church. Church leaders then equip the church to create disciples. That's my job as Lead Pastor, it's Ross' job as Pastor of Discipleship and that's your job as a disciple: Make more disciples.
Sound good? Great, but how do we do this? There are at least seventeen trillion "systems" and programs aimed at creating disciples who create disciples. Most of the "missional" tribes (SOMA, 3DM, Verge, etc) talk about the same three things, so we've gleaned the best from them and come up with our version: Head, Heart, Hands.
I know, probably not the most original but, hey, we're not in this to be original. It's all about intentionally and effectively seeing disciples made and multiplied. Take a look:
"Who is God?" "What's life all about?" "What happens when we die?" "Where did we all come from?" Do you have an opinion any that? If so, where did you get that opinion? What informed you? What you think about God is called "theology". So what's your theology? Did you get it from pop culture? If so, do you think that is going to give you the truth?
Thankfully, the bible answers all those questions and God has given the church the gift of teachers who are gifted at teaching the bible. It's God's living, breathing Word. Lots of facts, stories and truths, all for our good, all pointing to a man: Jesus. A million years ago the church called this "doctrine". A fully-formed disciple needs to get good doctrine into their brains. You want to worship the real God, not the version you heard about on that sitcom. Reading the Scriptures, learning from Gospel teachers, listening to their Pastor's sermons, the truth IS out there and a disciple gets it in their minds and considers those big questions of life. You've got a brain. Use it.
Once the Gospel takes root the Holy Spirit does some amazing work. Your motives change. How you view God and other people changes. You grow in grace and love through faith not by works. Believing the Gospel give you a new heart! Your new heart will be a heart of repentance (turning from sin and turning toward God).
We forget the Gospel and instead believe lies. This is where community can be so valuable. We get to remind one another of the Gospel and of our new identity in Christ. Together we cultivate belief in the Gospel. You can do this on your own but we work best together as we do the things that encourage faith: Pray, sing, worship and praise.
Remember, Christians lives should be defined by love. That's "the aim of our charge". We should be growing in love for God and His people, loving our enemies and loving our city.
The actions of our hands reflect the belief in our heart. You do what you believe. A heart transformed by the love of God can't help but to respond out of gratitude--loving others as we love ourselves, pursuing justice, caring for the marginalized, and serving our city. It's our chance to do something with what you've learned.
A fully-formed discple's life will look different. The Holy Spirit will be at work changing you, your motives, you thoughts and your actions. It will be a life that demands a gospel explanation!
Conversely, someone who believes money and security is God will pursue money and security. We do what we believe. Someone who believes we have to spiritually "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" will probably be a legalistic jerk. If you believe Jesus is Who He says He is, you'll probably respond accordingly, with humilty and grace.
Now some people are going to have natural gifting and passions for maybe one of these. Maybe you dig action and want to get going with service. Great! But what are your motives for service? To score points with God? If so, check your head. You probably need some doctrine. Your heart probably needs to believe truth instead of lies like that God's opinion of you changes based on how much good work you do. You're a child of the King! Nothing can separate you from His love! Scripture promises that. If you were reading, studying in community and being encouraged by brothers and sisters in the trenches with you, you'll be so much more effective in your service.
If you are a wonky nerd you might be part of multiple bible studies. Great! You may keep packing in new things you've learned about God, the church, life, mission, etc. but if your heart isn't being gripped by the Gospel something isn't right. If you are not actually serving, doing and sharing the love with others then you probably don't believe the Gospel to be true.
See how this works? The challenge is to see how you are growing in each area. As a church family we will intentionally walk with you into all three areas. Check out these three ways to grow as a disciple. If you'd like to discuss this simply drop me a note or corner me on Sunday after the service. You belong here.