Growing Disciples

As we continued our “Roots” series this past weekend at Eastbrook Church we looked at what it means to be a disciple, grow as a disciple, and invite others to discipleship. To do that, I walked through the memorable story of Jesus appearing to two disciples along the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. I discussed how disciples walk with Jesus, hear from Jesus, burn for Jesus, and speak about Jesus.

You can watch my message from this past weekend and follow along with the message outline below. You can also engage with the entire series here or download the Eastbrook mobile app for even more opportunities for involvement.

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The Learning Journey of Discipleship

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When I was in second grade I began taking piano lessons. My teacher helped me understand that effectiveness in playing the piano takes practice, learning through one-on-one lessons, more practice, playing in front of others at recitals, learning more through lessons, more practice, growing through listening to great performers, learning more through lessons, and more practice. You probably get the idea: learning an instrument takes effort. Learning an instrument well takes a lot of effort. Becoming a master at one’s instrument takes strenuous effort.

All through that, a great teacher, who knows more than you do, will help you see develop and improve, even as you practice and practice until certain skills become infused with muscle memory.

Discipleship is similar to this. We learn from the greatest of all teachers, Jesus the Messiah, and then put His lessons into practice daily in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit until we naturally respond to our circumstances like Jesus would. It is learning journey that takes a lot of practice.

At the end of His mission on earth, after the cross and resurrection and just before His ascension to the Father, Jesus said to His disciples:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)

In the midst of this Great Commission, Jesus invites His disciples to become disciple-makers, just as He has done with them. Discipleship is truly a learning and growing process. It is an intentional journey of growth, like a student learning from a teacher or an apprentice learning from a master.

A disciple is someone who follows Jesus, is being changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus. It takes effort on our part, but it is all the grace of God from start to finish.

The first time I played at a recital in front of my fellow students as an eight-year-old, I fumbled through my music and cried afterwards. By the time I stopped taking piano lessons at the age of sixteen, I was playing with adult jazz musicians and, much to my surprise, holding my own. Unfortunately, my skills have faded a lot since then because I have not kept learning, growing, and practicing.

When we begin the journey of discipleship, we may fumble our way through things with God. Sometimes, we may even want to cry out our inabilities or failures. Yet, as we stick with Christ daily, and allow Him bring His life into our life, over time we may be surprised at how we have grown.

Paul writes to the Philippian believers: “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13). Let’s take those words to heart and carry forward on the learning journey of discipleship.

7 on Multiplication

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I concluded the “Becoming 7” series at Eastbrook this past weekend with a message called “7 on Multiplication.” This series is an overview of our vision for the year, focusing on our big five vision objectives: becoming a Revelation 7:9-10 church; growing in discipleship depth; growing in mission width; growing in leadership multiplication; and increasing in overall engagement. Sometimes we aim to become a “10” but in this series we will talk about why we are aiming for “7” instead.

You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Becoming 7 (Revelation 7:9-10)

“There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9)

 

The Multiplication Example (Exodus 18; Luke 5, 6, 9, 10; Acts 20:4-5)

  • Moses (Exodus 18)
  • Jesus (Luke 5:1-11, 27-32; 6:12-16; 9:1-6; 10:1-20)
  • Paul (Acts 20:4-5)

 

The Multiplication Principle (2 Timothy 2:2)

  • Why we must multiply
  • When we must multiply
  • Who we must look for

 

Becoming 7 on Multiplication

  • Our goal at Eastbrook

 

7 on Discipleship

becoming-7-series-gfx_4x3-title

I began our “Becoming 7” series this past weekend at Eastbrook with a message called “7 on Discipleship.” This series is an overview of our vision for the year, focusing on our big five vision objectives: becoming a Revelation 7:9-10 church; growing in discipleship depth; growing in mission width; growing in leadership multiplication; and increasing in overall engagement. Sometimes we aim to become a “10” but in this series we will talk about why we are aiming for “7” instead.

You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Becoming 7 (Revelation 7:9-10)

“There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9)

 

The Essence of Life with God is Discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20)

  • What is discipleship?

 

  • What is our definition of discipleship at Eastbrook?

 

Becoming 7 on Discipleship

  • Our goal at Eastbrook

 

Called (discussion questions)

Activate Series Gfx_ThumbHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Called,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is the first part of our series, “Activate,” where we are looking at what it means to be individual Christians and a local church set into motion by God’s power and presence for God’s work in the world.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When have you felt most energized in your life with God? What was going on and what lead you to that place?
  2. Following our exploration of Jesus as the way, truth, and life, we are beginning a new series this weekend at Eastbrook entitled “Activate” about the church energized for God’s mission. This week, we are looking at Acts 1:1-11. Take some time to pray, asking God to speak to you as you read His word.
  3. Background: The book of Acts is the second of two works that Luke, an early believer and a physician, wrote in the first century. The first of those books, the Gospel of Luke, focuses on the life of Jesus in Galilee and Jerusalem. The book of Acts picks up after the resurrection of Jesus, charting the life of the first followers of Jesus. Both books are addressed to Theophilus, whose name literally means ‘lover of God.’As Luke recounts the events after the resurrection, he tells of Jesus’ activities until the time He returns to the Father. What is Jesus doing and for how long is He doing these things (verses 1-3)?
  4. Looking at verses 4 and 5, what does Jesus ask of the disciples? Why do you think Jesus is making this sort of request of the disciples? What other options might they have considered?
  5. The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of God in the life of every person who reaches out to God through Jesus Christ by faith. What do you think it means for us to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit in our own lives?
  6. The disciples ask a question in verse 6 that Jesus redirects in verse 7. What was the disciples’ concern and what is Jesus’ teaching on this point?
  7. Acts 1:8 is a pivotal verse in this chapter and the history of God’s people. How would you outline what Jesus is calling these apostles to in this verse?
  8. The book of Acts traces the early believers as they live out what Jesus calls them to do here in Acts 1:8, witnessing to Him from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth. This is a universal call for the good news about Jesus to go out to all people, high and low, rich and poor, near and far. If this is our calling, how are you living out this calling right now? What are some ways you think you could live the calling out more fully in your everyday life?
  9. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study about being called by God as His witnesses? How will that shape your life in the coming week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

[Next week: We continue the “Activate” series by exploring Acts 1:12-26, with special attention to the prayers of the early believers.]