Discipleship

We at Fellowship are all about following Jesus. We recognize that every person comes from a different place, with different perspectives, and a different history. But no matter who you are or where you've been, we'd like to invite you to follow after Jesus with us.

There is no special formula to following Jesus, but we think about this journey through 4 different lenses. They are not in any special order, but are like a loop, each one feeding off of the others. The 4 lenses we use are as follows: Transforming - Connecting - Growing - Sharing. We see these themes in the “Great Commission” at the end of the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 28:19-20).

 

Transforming is what happens when we have an encounter with Jesus. There are big and small transformations that happen in our lives, and the largest of all is moving from the view that Jesus is not worth following to believing that he is worth following. Some people call this salvation or being born again (this is the “make disciples” part of Matthew 28:19). But wherever any of us are on our journey, Jesus is willing to transform us more and more into the person that we are most meant to be, not a distorted version of ourselves marred by sin, fear, pain, and dysfunction.

Connecting is the process of becoming part of God's family, most usually through a local church community. Often we find that people get connected to disciples of Jesus even before they become disciples themselves.  The Bible says that when we do follow Jesus, we are adopted into God's family and become his son or daughter. The person we call the Holy Spirit does this when we put our faith in Jesus (this is the “baptize” part of Matthew 28:19; also see 1 Corinthians 12:13). This incredible privilege allows us to have deep relationship with God, but also with his people. We believe that being connected with God’s people actually helps us to follow Jesus better than if we did it alone. A church does not replace an individual’s choices, responsibility, or freedom. Rather, like any healthy family, it provides opportunities for each member to express their true selves, in relation to God and how he created us.

Growing is what happens when people follow after Jesus together. God accepts us just as we are but never leaves us as we are (this is the “teach them” of Matthew 28:20). He wants us to experience the fullness of life, here and now (John 10.10), and the best way to do that is to live the way Jesus lived. We grow by modeling our thoughts, actions, and beliefs around Jesus. The word Christian literally means “little Christ”, with reference to Jesus Christ. We have identified 15 Essentials that help us reflect on how much we are growing as followers of Jesus.

Sharing is the natural response to our experience of the God’s blessing. We want to tell others about it and help them have the same benefits that we have had (this is the “go” part of Matthew 28:19). Just as Jesus left heaven to come share himself with humanity, we are called to be a part of people’s lives and share Jesus with them. This is not a project or task that we carry. Rather, it is the direct result of loving people and wanting to see them experience God’s best in their own lives.

We do not believe that these are necessarily progressive steps, but different aspects of what it looks like to follow Jesus as his disciple.  That's why the image is a circle.  

Transforming - Connecting - Growing - Sharing, discipleship in plain language so that we can all more faithfully follow Jesus.

 

47 Milton Street    
Dedham, MA 02026    
781-326-3033    

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