This post is from Imbi Medri-Kinnon (though the title is from Bill).
Discipling / Catechesis, depending on your faith tradition, are words that are out of fashion. The church is seemingly into all things missional in this generation. (Even if “missional” means a hundred different things.)
Yesterday’s sermon reminded those of us gathered that indeed the Acts 1:8 call is to each of us – we ARE witnesses (because of the Holy Spirit in us).
But of what?
Substance has been an ongoing discussion in our household, and last week Kaili used a phrase and particular word that is still resonating – conversion is (necessarily) followed by TRANSFORMATION… Discipleship / Catechesis ….
What we are becoming matters!
I’ve been encouraged by various writers including Richard Foster, and the classic Oswald Chambers, but also John Stott, NT Wright and Dallas Willard among others who are calling us back to integrity, indeed transformation. And Christopher Wright who reminds us that we ARE disciples, before all else.
For far too long in the evangelical North American church, we have offered a form of cheap grace where simply saying the sinners prayer, or reciting the creed(s) on a Sunday morning is apparently enough. But 1/2 way around the world, in Kenya, the phrase ‘Christianity in this country is a mile wide and an inch deep’ came up several times in conversation with local brothers and sisters, suggesting that it is not just a localized phenomenon, but rather a generational issue.
Rich Mullins wrote one of my favorite song lines ever, saying “Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing,
It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine”. What a rich image, summarizing such depth, (no pun intended). (Watch song. May need to go to 4:28 in on iPads, iPhones, etc.)
Roy Williams, quoting Christopher Isherwood, says relevance (does this matter?) and credibility (is it true?) are essential to actual communication with this generation. Persuasion follows.
Who are we persuading, and to what?
Does our relationship with Jesus matter? And is He real, in my / our life?
Discipleship / Catechesis — TRANSFORMATION — is necessary. And more than possible with the Spirit and seasoned believers invited to speak into our lives, on an on-going basis. Indeed transformation goes far beyond what we hear in sermons and say on Sunday mornings.
We are witnesses.
Without on-going transformation, we simply live out ‘a form of godliness’ in any number of ways, making us irrelevant and incredible to a world longing for truth and integrity …. about as ‘useless as a screendoor on a submarine’ ….
I know I need to be being transformed – especially on Monday mornings, not to mention Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday …