For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Discipleship is everything and everything is discipleship. This was my motto as one of the young pastors in a large church. Some of my fellow pastors were squeamish with the statement thinking it too narrow and leaving out other essential ministries. One day one of the more senior pastors had enough of my rants and challenged me. “So, if discipleship is everything, how about a funeral, what do you think about that?!” I replied without hesitation, “That’s graduation day baby! And I certainly hope you preach the gospel to those who attend.”
And indeed it is. It is the end of the restoration process where all that is lacking is made full and we become all that God intended us to be. We call it glorification. We are perfected and will live with God for all eternity. All the years of following the example of Jesus and becoming like Him are brought to a crescendo and in the twinkling of an eye, we are made perfect. (Rom 8:17,30, 1 Cor 15:52-53, 2 Cor 5:2-4, Job 19:25-26, Jn 6:39-40)
My fellow pastor’s misconception that discipleship was merely a program or appendage of Christian living caused him to compartmentalize discipleship into just another ministry. Ministry is helping people come to and follow Jesus. He did not see the big picture. If following Jesus is the restoration process and this is the definition of discipleship, then discipleship is everything and everything is discipleship (or, following Jesus is everything and everything is following Jesus). This is true for us from beginning to end, from birth to death, from conversion to glorification.
© 2008, 2009 Following Jesus by Chuck Wood All Rights Reserved