Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Friday, October 08, 2004

Methods for Discipleship

After reading John Wesley this week (A Plain Account for Christian Perfection) I pondered what a community will look like that practices disciplines or methods as a community. If you know much about Wesley he took discpleship very seriously. During a missionary journey to the Republic of Georgia, Wesley and three of his colleagues took up a rule of life, lived communally and practiced submission to each other. Its been about two years since I read Richard Foster's Celebration of Disciplines. He seems to be an advocate of practicing spiritual discipline individually as well as a community.

When I was in high school, we had teachers that would assign us homework to take home so that we might learn the material ourselves. Although this was the majority, a few teachers would allow the students time to do their homework in class. I wonder, what if we practiced those spiritual disciplines during our gatherings instead of just telling people that they should practice doing these outside of the church.

The crusades that were so successful during the late 80s and early 90s were an attempt to get an individual to make the important decision of following Jesus or not. Saying that prayer or confessing in front of the church or being baptized for remission of sins. But what about getting those people to a decision to follow Christ in discipleship? (this is were the theology of baptism can really be effective) I'm not saying making that initial decision isn't important, but then what? Wesley started up the "Holy Club" at Oxford which resembles our small group movement today. His only requirement for joining the club was this question: "Do you want to be without sin?" With that said, what practices or disciplines will shape not only you as a follower of Christ, but shape your community? Won't it be different for each community considering their context?