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Student Ministry October 2018

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Dear Church Family,
What is discipleship? Another good question is, why should we care? Well, all Christians should be concerned with what it means to be a disciple and how disciples are to live. The reason for this is that God makes it clear in His Word that anyone who aligns himself with Jesus Christ is one of His disciples. To be a Christian is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And it follows that if you do not know what discipleship means, then you will not truly know how to follow Jesus. You may be a Christian who loves God, but you might always feel like something is  missing. Or, even worse, you might be missing out on all sorts of blessings that God wants to give you, and you don’t even know it.

So what is discipleship? Simply put, being a disciple means being a learner of someone else. Based on that definition, you can be a disciple of almost anything. You are a disciple of teachers in school, disciples of YouTube channels, disciples of friends. While this might be true to an extent, when we talk about discipleship, we are talking about something a little deeper than that. We’re talking about discipleship as God’s Word describes it. The biblical picture of discipleship is that of full devotion of one’s life to a teacher’s doctrine and way of life. When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, it wasn’t to follow Him over to a table to talk for a few minutes and then see each other the following week. It was a call to become apart of Jesus’ life. They were leaving their lives behind and becoming a part of His life. They were not only to listen to Him and learn, but also to watch Him and    imitate. That is exactly the task of every disciple today as well; to learn from and imitate Christ.

The point I am making is that many of us forget this from time to time. Some of us may have never even thought about being a Christian this way. Many of us thought that being a Christian was simply asking Jesus into our hearts so that we can be forgiven and go to heaven with Him forever. And that is true! But it is actually much more than that. When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we are really repenting of our sin, asking for forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and claiming Him as our Lord, the One to whom we devote our entire lives. He becomes our Lord and Savior, and we become His devoted disciples. We are given the Holy Spirit, and our desires start to change right away. Instead of loving self, we love God and others. Instead of following our hearts’ desires, we follow Jesus. Our desire, actions, our entire lives becomes Jesus centered. We want to grow more and more to live like Jesus, and we want others to have that same experience. That is what Christian discipleship is all about.

That is what the Student Ministry is all about; Making disciples of Students, and equipping them to grow and make more disciples. DNow weekend is one way we do that. We spend an entire weekend together learning, applying, and living out God’s Word so that we can better live like Christ and for Christ. This year is about Jesus’ idea of Christian community. We want to grow in how we live in Christlike community with one another… even in the midst of drama. If you are a parent or grandparent of a student, I want to highly encourage you to sign them up for DNow so they can be encouraged to live more like Christ and receive all the blessing of abundant life that He gives. It is one of the best investments you can make in the life of a student. 

Brian Van Doren


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