The mission of the church, as commanded by our Savior, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Discipleship has three major components – drama, doctrine, and doxology.
Discipleship is not merely a set of beliefs or a set system of doctrine to be memorized. Discipleship is a life. If the life and the doctrine fundamentally do not agree, discipleship has not occurred.
While discipleship is a lifelong process, there are criteria by which one can know that it is occurring.
A clear understanding of the drama of redemption and the doctrines of the faith, in a heart and mind that is being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, results in an overflowing of gratitude, which is expressed in praise and obedience.
A part of this obedience results in making more disciples, returning us to the mission of the church. It is our goal that every disciple has a part in making more disciples. Discipleship can be as simple as practicing hospitality or as all-consuming as ordained ministry.
When people are asked to become disciples of Christ, they are being asked to eat their last meal. They are being asked to die, both to the world and themselves. Their last meal is Christ, but Christ is a feast that goes on forever. All this means that Christian discipleship makes subservient to itself all worldly forms of transformation.
To read more about Discipleship, click here.
More than a set of systematic theological categories, and based on the bulk of the writings of Scripture, our faith is a story. From the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, we see the unfolding drama of the redemption of God’s people. From Creation to Consummation, with the climax at the crucifixion of Christ, we see God’s redeeming purposes fulfilled.
Because our faith is based in a story, a true story, it is this story which must be told as presented to us in Scripture. Therefore our preaching and teaching must be primarily concerned with showing the contours of this story. This highlights the historical rootedness of Christianity, gives weight to it as a factual religion, and presents our faith in a way that is accessible to all people.
To read more about the Drama of Redemption, click here.
As we learn the contours of our redemption, we find threads that run throughout the story. These threads reveal important information such as who God is, who we are, how God purposed to redeem us, and the end of all things. These threads we call “doctrine.” They are best explained through the field of systematic theology and best expressed in the Confessions and Creeds of the Reformation.
For the sake of clarity these confessions and creeds are used to simply explain the doctrines of Scripture. The creeds to which we subscribe are the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. We also make use of the Three Forms of Unity – the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and Canons of Dort. These are all orthodox, biblical, reformed confessions and useful for discipleship.
To read more about Doctrine, including the creeds listed above, click here.
The end goal of discipleship is doxology. Doxology means “words of praise”, which we take to include both the worship of the church assembly as well as the life lived to the glory of God; the Christian’s “spiritual worship” (Rom 12:1)
Gathering with other believers in worship is the most significant thing a Christian can do. It is the pinnacle of the Christian life here on earth. It is the heartbeat and lifeblood of discipleship.
To read more about discipleship, click here.