Married: discipleship and evangelism
This past weekend (Accelerate) at CCC was definitely focused on raising the temperature on loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Our Journey Group leadership huddle on Saturday 01/17 was a great environment to discuss how to create a marriage in the Journey Group context between discipleship and evangelism.
Here's a summary of the Journey Group Leadership Gathering this past Saturday:
The BIG Q: Is there room in your JG for non Christ-followers/non-believers? If not, why not? If so, what are you currently doing to foster a great growth environment between Joe who might be the "theologian" and Sally the non Christ-follower?
If there is someone in your JG that isn't following Christ - then you've hit the jackpot for two main reasons:
A) You need it (to push you in your dependance on God for good leadership) and your group members need it to push their own comfort level.
B) Sally, the non-Christ follower needs Jesus!
At the end of the day, people want to BELONG way before the BELIEVE or BEHAVE in the right direction. Church culture and culture in general used to get away with the mantra of: "Believe the right things, behave the right way, and then you can belong." Whether it is good or bad or your preference, one quick glance at the next generation and culture in general clearly indicates that people want to investigate and see if they "belong" at/with a certain group of people way before they jump head first into the DNA.
If this is true, evangelism and disicpleship aren't so divorced. This means that there really isn't a linear approach to "once you get evangelized over here, then you come over here for discipleship, and then so on down the road..." Rather it means, people might be well into discipleship WAY BEFORE they "sign up" for and commit to solid Christian beliefs, doctrine, and ways of life (behavior).
Remember, Jesus said it very plain and bold: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31 (Jesus' subtle and loud way of reminding all of us that we love ourselves a lot - atleast way more than we might think. He didn't say "more" than yourself, just "as much as" you love yourself.)
So, what does it look like for you, as a Journey Group leader, to foster a marriage between evangelism and discipleship in your group?