Why We Don’t Have a Discipleship Program At iN

By June 23, 2013Archive

No Discipleship Program

iNVERSION’s mission to “make gospel centered disciples (learners, followers) for the glory of God” comes right out of Jesus’ Great Commission at the end of Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples…”.  Discipleship is the heartbeat of iN because discipleship is the very mission of Jesus continued here on earth through His body, the church.  Therefore, we at iN desire for every single thing that we do to be aimed at the goal of making and maturing disciples of Jesus.  This begs an obvious question: why doesn’t iN have a discipleship program?  The answer stems from the gospel itself and is therefore simple yet infinitely multifaceted.

The goal of discipleship is sanctification, meaning that the disciple would become more like Jesus (Ephesians 4:13). However, the flabbergasting good news of the gospel is that the work of sanctification was completed for all disciples the moment Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” from the cross.  Because our sin was utterly paid for on the cross, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus was given to those who receive it by faith, we cannot add one speck of righteousness to our perfect standing before God.  If that is true, then the whole mission of discipleship is completed!  However, rather than hindering discipleship, this truth liberates discipleship from the shackles of moralism.

This “bigness” of the gospel destroys marginalized, programmatic discipleship.  We become like Jesus when we behold Jesus in the gospel (2 Corinthians 3:21).  We proclaim the crucified Jesus in the Spirit of Jesus’ power with the risen Jesus’ authority to make disciples of Jesus, not of ourselves (Colossians 1:28; Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18).  We grow in holiness by “[considering ourselves] dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).  In this gospel light, all Christians are disciples and the work of discipleship must therefore be more than one program among many.  It must be a culture centered on the gospel.  So at iNVERSION, we gather every Sunday to hear the gospel preached and scatter throughout the city each week, young and old, male and female, mature and immature, to make disciples of Jesus by proclaiming to and reminding all people of the good news of Jesus Christ.  Discipleship isn’t a program, it’s His mission and ours.

Dane Olney

Author Dane Olney

Dane Olney is joyfully married to his high school sweetheart Brittany and they have a son named Levi. He is the Discipleship Pastor of VCC and is pursuing an MDiv in Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary.

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