Church Blog

Do that for 100 Years

“Discipleship and discipling imply the process of becoming like Jesus Christ. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ means living a fully human life in this world and union with Jesus Christ and growing in conformity to his image.”

Michael Wilkins, Following the Master, p.342

The basic idea of Christian discipleship is that we are followers of Jesus who make other followers of Jesus. But what does that actually mean? What does it actually look like? What is distinctive about the way that we make disciples at Santa Margarita Community Church?

Well, there is nothing that is unique to us, but there are aspects of discipleship that distinguishes. That is, we do it this way and not that way. Also, nothing is unique to us, but much of what we do is unique to now.

We say that our mission is to raise up generations of Christians. We are seeking to produce in ourselves and others a growing body of adult Christians generation after generation. An adult disciple is someone who lives Christianly in all things. An adult disciple takes dominion or responsibility for all of their areas given by God. An adult disciple has a lively, whole life fellowship with Jesus that you would notice if it was missing. An adult disciple is a substantial person who knows their doctrine, is more like Jesus than they were last year and exercise is there a dominion in all the areas of responsibility.

Remember, our forms form us. What we do shapes who we become. It does that because all actions have a theology behind them and we eventually come to look like that God. We said in Worship: when the church gathers on the Lord’s Day:

We need to know that every church has forms and those practices form us into a certain kind of people. The kind of people we are in Santa Margarita – joyful, fruitful and gracious – is because we have been shaped by the way that we worship. Think about it this way, all forms bear fruit, just like all seeds grow into plants after their kinds. In other words, everything that we do has a theology behind it and shapes us into a certain kind of people.

If we borrow modern, Godless education techniques then we will become modern… And godless. Our forms come from biblical teaching and historical wisdom. Again, from Worship:

Christian worship comes either from commanded biblical practices or historic wisdom. Historic wisdom is how the church before us applied biblical prescription and example. So, we worship according to biblical prescription and example or according to what historical wisdom determined will form us into Christian people who live Christian lives.

The forms of Christian discipleship also come from those same two sources.

So, the first thing that is distinctive about our discipleship mission at SMCC is the clear goal of an adult faith. We will seek to create a clear mental vision of that goal. The second thing that is unique is our timeframe, we are on a 100-year project, knowing that our intentional discipleship efforts today will raise of generations of Christians that we will only meet in the resurrection. Our sermon on June 6 will detail this 100-year vision for Christian adulthood and its fruit.

Adult disciples know something because God has spoken in the world and in the Word and He has given teachers to the church. Our sermon on June 13 will call on our pastors to teach us the Bible, according to the command of God, and on the congregation to do what it takes to learn. The pastor is the primary teacher in the congregation. He is not the only teacher, but it is his primary responsibility.

Adult disciples possess a Christ-like character. At least, more so this year than they did last year. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God in the mouths of the people of God to change our hearts, to actually change who we are. God gives this command to first to parents to train their children to have Christ-like character. Our sermon on June 20 will put the full burden of that responsibility on Fathers, primarily. It will give details of how we can do that and how the greater body of the church joins in the partnership.

Adult disciples live like Christians and lead like Christians wherever God has placed them. They take full covenantal responsibility to be the one that obeys God in their place for the good of their people. Our sermon on June 27 will clarify this responsibility in various spheres of life and it will charge the mature believers in the congregation to take responsibility to instruct those who also live and work in their spheres. This responsibility is given to the older saints to instruct the younger saints on how to actually get things done.

The goal is to raise adults who love Jesus, love the standard of Jesus and live it out joyfully. That starts with you loving the Jesus, loving the standard and living it out joyfully. Let’s be done with this idea that doing nothing achieves the same goals as doing something. We have had enough of the idea that you can do whatever and have it achieve the same goals as doing what Scripture and Christian wisdom dictate.

This is who we are, this is where we are going, this is how long it will take. And, you will want to know, that we mean it. We expect it of each other and we will deliberately pursue seeing it become a reality in you, in our church, our families and in our parish. Learn more of what God has said, be changed by it and take on the full adult responsibility to work hard and get things done. Be the kind of adult Christians who can carry a load. Do that again tomorrow and do that for 100 years.

Listen to the sermon series.