So often in our ministry world we can get caught up on our mandate to make disciples that we forget what it means to be a disciple. The following excerpt was taken from part 1 of a 2 part series on How to be a Disciple in the 21st Century on The Missions Blog. Lynn designed and facilitates “Soul Care in the 21st Century,” a spiritual formation retreat that helps believers rest, learn, and reconnect with Jesus.
By Lynn Karidis — The call came after a hard night on the lake. Used to arriving on shore in the morning with lots of fish to sell, on this day Simon had returned with nothing. Yet, after Jesus taught the crowd from a spot on Simon’s boat, Jesus asked him to return to the deep water to let down his nets again. The result was overwhelming. There were so many fish that the nets began to break and Simon signaled his partners for help. James and John sailed over and together they started to haul the huge catch, which began to sink both boats. Astonished, Simon fell to his knees and, claiming to be a sinful man, asked Jesus to leave. Jesus responded by inviting Simon to “catch men” instead of fish. Luke 5:11 tells us that “they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him” (NIV). Thus began the beautiful process of Christian discipleship.
In the pages of the New Testament, we see the disciples following Jesus from city to city, listening to his teaching, and learning to imitate him. How wonderful it must have been to see his face, hear his voice, and experience his ministry with the people. But what about us? We don’t live with Jesus in the flesh. How does a 21st Century person become a disciple? And what does being a disciple look like for us? The answers are both simple and complex. While the basic structure of discipleship can be found in Jesus’ prayer in John 17 and in his commands in Matthew 28, one gleans how to be a disciple from the whole of Scripture.
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Making it personal
More will be said about the spiritual practices mentioned in Acts 2:42 in the next blog post. In the meantime, you are invited to consider your journey with Jesus.
For additional resources on disciple making, head over to the SEND U wiki here.
If you have a resource that you have found helpful in your own discipleship journey or in making disciples, let us know by emailing Ken or Beth.
With nearly 100 in attendance, the Asia Regional Equipping Seminar was the biggest SEND sponsored training event in Asia to date. Drs. Sherwood and Judith Lingenfelter (picture top right) came with an incredible breadth of knowledge and understanding in cross cultural living. Not only did they cover ethnography skills, but they also helped each individual understand the various cultures they find themselves living in beyond their host culture - family culture, organizational culture, and ministry culture. With a highly interactive format and breakout sessions with different segments of the group, each person left with practical applications about how their own views of culture affect every part of their lives and ways to address some of these biases. Jon Eckstein, Asia Regional Director said “It was a great training for everyone - from the first-term missionary to those looking towards retirement. Our new members told me they were so happy to have this at the beginning of their time, while our seasoned workers mentioned that this was a great refresher or even that they wished they had known some of this sooner. It was a great time for everyone to learn and grow together in better ways to reach the least reached in Asia.”
SEND U has several upcoming online opportunities. See dates and links below for training that might be of interest to you.
What exactly is “folk” religion? Are there animistic elements that play a part in the religion of the people to whom you minister? Through this short course you can learn how to address these topics from a biblical perspective that will help minimize syncretism among the believers you serve.
This two-week, collaborative, online course will give you an introduction to animism and folk religion so that you can better minister to those who follow these beliefs. In this course you will:
This course was created by Dr. Gary Ridley. Dr. Ridley has a M.Div and a D. Miss. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has spent 40 years serving in SEND North and along with teaching, also enjoys coaching and mentoring.
Do you like administrative tasks and training and development? Do you have some technical skills you would like to put to use? SEND U is looking for a new administrator for our SEND U wiki. The SEND U Wiki is a collection of resources for the development and personal growth of SEND missionaries. The SEND U wiki administrator is responsible to update and maintain the wiki by adding suggested resources as well as checking links and other content. Commitment is about 10 hours a month. Contact Ken Guenther if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org
SEND U Director based in Kiev, Ukraine
SEND U Assistant Director based in Taichung, Taiwan