Discipleship is something that I am passionate about because the Church has so much potential and yet seems not to meet that potential enough. In my opinion, I believe that is because we have worked really hard to make Christians rather than disciples or followers of Jesus. You might be thinking that those two terms are the same, and they should be, but they are not. The focus has been on the mission of making new Christians, however, Jesus' mission is for us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). When a person accepts Jesus as lord and savior, that is simply the beginning of life long growth to imitate Christ. Dietrich Boenhoffer, Christian martyr, theologian and hero, said, "Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ."
Schnase has this to say about intentional discipleship: "Intentional Faith Development refers to all the ministries that help us grow in faith outside of weekly worship, such as bible studies, Sunday School classes, support groups, and prayer teams. Congregations who practice Intentional Faith Development offer opportunities for people to learn in community for people at all stages of faith. They offer ministries that help people grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of God. Intentional refers to deliberate effort, purposeful action, and high priority." At Rockbridge one of our three key values is to LEARN how to follow Jesus: helping people go from meeting Jesus to centering our lives around him. Check out our fall grow classes to help you take the next step in your faith!
I would also like to announce that we are bringing on Randy Bell as our associate pastor of adult spiritual formation! Faith development is so important that we are finally filling this position so that Randy can put all his energy and effort into helping you grow in your faith. Make sure that you congratulate him on his new position!