Discipleship: Grow in Faith
Keep yourself in training for a godly life. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises a life both for the present and for the future. — 1 Timothy 4:7-8, TEV
M.A.D.E. in Christ
To accomplish our purpose and mission we have developed a process to help you grow in your spiritual life and in your relationship with Jesus that we call M.A.D.E. in Christ. M.A.D.E. — an acronym for Membership, Assimilation, Discipleship and Equipment for Ministry — is our adaptation of The Purpose-Driven Life model for spiritual growth, which is based on the Great Commandment and The Great Commission of Jesus.
The Great Commandment
“ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” — Matthew 22:37-39, NRSV
The Great Commission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” — Matthew 28:19-20, NRSV
Notice in The Great Commission above, that immediately after Jesus commands his disciples to baptize, he commands them to teach. So teaching is one of the purposes of the Church, and one of the steps in our M.A.D.E. in Christ process for spiritual growth. We call it discipleship. And at St. Andrew’s we take our responsibility to disciple you — to help you continue to grow in your walk with Christ, and in your knowledge of him — seriously.
Paul, in the passage from his letter to Timothy, above, indicates the our “spiritual training” is an ongoing event. So we’ve used the image of a baseball diamond to show that our M.A.D.E. in Christ process is ongoing. As Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14, “. . . this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (NRSV)
A process for discipleship that meets four basic needs:
- All human beings have a basic need to belong. At St. Andrew’s, we meet that need through membership in the Body of Christ.
- We all have a need to be accepted for who we are, and as you become assimilated into the life of the church you will begin to develop the relationships that will bring you joy and sustain you in times of sorrow.
- We have a need to feel competent, and in the discipleship phase of our M.A.D.E. process, we will give you the tools you need to grow to spiritual maturity and feel competent in your walk with Christ.
- We have a need to contribute, and as your are equipped for ministry, and begin to serve Christ in the church and in the world, you will begin to live more fully into his purposes for your life.