Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gil Rendle on discipleship

Gil Rendle spoke to the Missouri River District clergy today about the mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Here's what I took away from the meeting--

  • For decades American UMCs have focused on making members not on making disciples.
  • Pastors must lead their congregations in the task of disciple making.
  • The Bishops and the DSs agree that this should be the missional priority of every congregation.
  • The Bishops and DSs do not have a working definition of how pastors should go about making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
  • The seminaries have not trained pastors to make world-transforming disciples.
  • Pastors and laity must figure out what the mission statement looks like in their context.

Does this spark your imagination?  Are you energized by the challenge to come up with your own working definition of the mission statement?


John said...

We talk a lot about making disciples? Do we know what a disciple is? How would you define one and by what marks would you know one? Finally, do they have to be "world transforming" or can they just be ordinary disciples like Jesus made? Until we know what we are talking about, this is just all hot air!

Laura Felleman said...

Fortunately, the doctrinal standards, especially the doctrinal sermons, give us a place to start looking for the answers to your questions. I particularly recommend sermons 21-33, Wesley's series on the Sermon on the Mount. These doctrinal teachings set out the characteristics of disciples, how they are made, and how they transform the world.