Friday, 6 January 2012

Mission and discipleship

Good quote here from a book entitled Untamed: reactivating a missional form of discipleship by Alan and Deborah Hirsch (Baker Books, 2010, p.29), quoted by the ever readable Kurt Willems:
You simply cannot be a disciple without being a missionary – a sent one. For way too long discipleship has been limited to issues relating to our own personal morality and worked out in the context of the four walls of the church with its privatized religion. In doing this, we have severely neglected our biblical mandate to go and “make disciples.” We have narrowed the gospel message to just being about us. Please hear us: we don’t want to neglect issues of personal morality. To strive for holiness and maturity in our own personal lives is extremely important, but it is only half the picture; the other half is our God-given responsibility to the world around us. The fact is that you can’t be a disciple without being a missionary: no mission, no discipleship. It’s as simple as that.
As some of the comment on Kurt's blog makes clear, 'mission' here refers to action in the world of all sorts, not (just) evangelism. It fits well with so many things I've been thinking about recently, but especially the hymn The Summons by John Bell and Graham Maule that we sang at our church on Sunday, which begins:
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

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