Grow Deep - Core Discipleship Edition
March 1–April 4
CORE DISCIPLESHIP EDITION
“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NAS)
This edition of Grow Deep comes during the liturgical season of Lent. Lent is often a time of year when Christians make conscious choices to slow down and spend some additional, scheduled time refining their faith. It is not uncommon for Christians (and even those who aren’t Christian) to “give up” something for Lent … a certain food or a bad habit. Sometimes we give up things we think will make us better (giving up sugar to improve our health); sometimes we engage in an effort of self-denial (no television or computer games). In any case, our efforts often end up becoming something that we do for only 40 days. There is no heart change and no lifestyle change. Instead, everything goes back to the way it was at the end of the 40 days.
Certainly, giving up something for the season of Lent can lead to greater intimacy with God over the course of those 40 days. But God’s plan is that we learn to continually turn away from ourselves and discover what He has done for us in Jesus. His plan is that our “giving up” is something that outlasts the 40 days of Lent … that it becomes something that will help to grow us as His disciples far beyond the Lenten season.
The word disciple comes from a root word that means “learn.” There are many thoughts about discipleship and definitions of discipleship available to anyone who chooses to research the topic. What we read and/or hear may or may not be entirely accurate. Still, we do know that core discipleship was demonstrated by Jesus as He gathered twelve men around Him who would learn from Him as He journeyed toward the cross. Discipleship isn’t “natural.” Disciples learn things unnatural to their human yearnings. But true, core discipleship taught by Jesus leads to life in Him and service to others.
During these next five weeks we will be on a journey together to explore what “core discipleship” means. We will pause at the start of each week to consider readings that lead us to “give up” the things that hinder our growth as disciples. We will pause again at mid-week to consider Scripture readings that will “teach” us what “core” discipleship really is. Together, we will learn the same things that Jesus taught the twelve men who were with Him every day for three years.
Don’t miss this Lenten journey. Join us to …
Grow Deep with Jesus!
We give thanks to the following writers who have shared their insights with us in this edition: Week 1, Chris Burford; Week 2, Mary Beth Sullivan; Week 3, Sharon Pahde; Week 4, Donna Russell; Week 5, Chuck Dreessen.