Disciples

 

 

 

I’m going to write the blog backwards this week by starting with the answer:

“Both.”

 

Now, I’m guessing at this point you would like me to divulge the question, but if I did that, why would you read more than the first two sentences?

 

And let us not forget that sometimes it is more important to know why we ask the question than it is to know the answer. ( I learned that, grasshopper, from watching that pop-culture font of Buddhist knowledge known as “Kung Fu” with David Carridine when I was 17 years old.) 

 

Okay, so the question is: Should the things you hear on Kinship Christian Radio be designed primarily to save the lost or to make disciples of current believers?

 

This topic of making disciples has been popping up off and on now in my life for a couple of months. It’s one of those things that keeps surfacing like a whale coming up for air. It’s always below the surface, it’s immense, and although it can remain submerged for quite some time, it can’t help but come up for air and breathe eventually.

 

Of course, just mentioning discipleship has most of you thinking of The Great Commission from Matthew 28:19: 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (NIV) 

 

If you think about that verse, it seems there is a tension there. We generally associate baptism with a new believer (or even an infant in some cases) whereas we use the word “discipleship” within Christianity to mean maturing and equipping a current believer into greater depths and expressions of their faith –including drawing others to faith.

 

Indeed, the Greek word used in the verse we translate as “disciple” is mathēteuō which means a student or a scholar of a teacher. There’s an apprenticeship facet to the word also. While the implication is that the disciple follows the teacher around for awhile and learns from him, eventually the disciple goes out on their own to teach and ends up with disciples of their own –but in the process, the disciple never stops learning and growing and becoming better in the discipline in which they have been instructed.

 

So, if you’ve been listening to Kinship Christian Radio all these years thinking that what you are hearing is broadcast as just nice Christian stuff someone thinks you will like, it goes much deeper than that. 

 

If that’s all Kinship Christian Radio was about, the programming could be a mile wide and an inch deep. Pop-culture happy thoughts, wisdom from clichés, and the occasional mention of a generic “higher power” would do that. 

 

But there’s really no power in that because there is no Jesus in that.

 

Of course, Kinship Christian Radio broadcasts the Gospel. If someone tunes in looking for Jesus, they will hear that God so loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but will have eternal life. That message is always present. That message is the leviathan of the ministry.

 

But the part of Kinship Christian Radio I really appreciate is that it helps me grow and mature and be equipped as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The teaching, the tapestry shared by the announcers, the programs, and even the music has a beauty, a majesty, a power,  that can only come from the work of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Kinship Christian Radio is the Church (capital C) going out beyond the walls of the church, as I wrote last week. It strives to be what it should be to convey how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of Jesus Christ. 

 

And it is the immensity of that love that grows little fish of faith into whales that sing in awe of the depth and richness and glory of our LORD and Savior! 

 

AMEN!

 

Today’s Praise

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:11-15 (NIV)

 

 

 

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