If you had to answer the question, “What does discipleship look like at your church,” what would you say? What kind of disciple is your church trying to create? Every book/article I’ve read on discipleship recently keeps coming back to this main question.
Since our church (Velocity) began 5 years ago I’ve always thought we answered that question pretty clearly through our mission statement. “Velocity exists to Ignite the Faith that Fuels Your Life to Impact the World.” For the last 5 years we’ve explained our statement in the following way. We want to help people Ignite their faith for the first time. Then we want to help people Fuel their lives through joining a Fuel Group. Lastly, we want to help people Impact the World through service. This process clearly states what we want people to “do”, but not so much who we want them to “be”. The question of who we are becoming is the primary concern for discipleship.
Have you ever stopped and answered this question personally? What does it mean to grow as a Christian? If you would say you are growing, what are you growing towards? What is the end goal?
I think scripture is pretty clear that the end goal of our faith is to become like Jesus. (Rom. 8:29, 2 Cor. 3:18, Gal. 4:19) More than anything else, Jesus perfectly listened to and obeyed His Father. Everything He had belonged to God; his day, his time, even his very life. But, each church has to translate what becoming more like Jesus means to their individual cultures.
Although Velocity has always had a clear mission statement and purpose, we needed to more clearly define what it meant to grow as a disciple of Jesus. The good news is the answer was already in our mission statement. At Velocity we want to Ignite people’s faith for the first time. (The most important thing we do as a church). BUT, then we want that faith to Fuel your life. And not just on Sundays, we want your faith to fuel your family, your friendships, your finances, everything! This is what discipleship and spiritual growth means at Velocity. We want to help people live a faith-fueled life.
How this is different:
It may sound weird, but this is a newly implemented phrase we have never used before. Before, we talked about Fuel Groups being the end goal of discipleship. We can now proudly declare that we want people to grow to live a faith-fueled life everyday. Fuel group becomes a tool in the process, but not the end goal.
Clarifying discipleship at Velocity has already helped us in making plans for where we’re going next and how we’re going to get there. We’re starting to have conversations about how to help the people in our church live a faith-fueled life. It’s been a lot of fun to talk about. (Velocity Church)
What does discipleship mean to you or your church? How would your church finish this statement, “Discipleship is ___________________.”
For More Reading:
5 Reasons Your Discipleship Strategy Might be Stuck
CS Lewis Institute