Richard Vernon

The small steps to maturity in Christ

Discipleship! It’s a word we believe in and aspire to fulfil, yet one we can easily get frustrated by because we’re not exactly sure how ‘to do it’.

“Go and make disciples of all nations…” It’s a verse we all know so well, yet if we’re completely honest, it’s not something that we find the easiest to do. That’s most likely because it’s so much more than a programme we put people through or a simple profession of faith.

Discipleship is a process that takes time, a lifetime to be exact, and one that requires a lot of hard work – and prayer; it’s never going to happen by chance. At least, that’s what we’ve found out here at Lakeside.

If we want to become fully mature followers of Jesus, we only ever get there by taking many small, consistent steps over many weeks, months and years. There is no fast-track to spiritual maturity; it requires settling into the rhythm and discipline of process.

We’ve not only got to be intentional; we also need to know what we’re aiming at because what does a disciple of Jesus look like exactly? The best definition I’ve heard is ‘someone who speaks his words, follows his ways, carries his wounds, and does his works’.

Sounds attractive, doesn’t it? Apart from the bit about carrying his wounds – I don’t really do pain all that well! But then we also need a plan; hopefully one that will work and that will actually lead people closer towards becoming that sort of person I mentioned before.

As we began to ponder these things, this is where our adventure began – one that led to us writing our own resource that is not only helping our own people become better disciples themselves but, just as importantly, helping them become disciples who make disciples of others.

‘Leading Others Into Life’ is made up of six short chapters designed to help you keep walking out those many small steps by laying solid foundations for growth.

Focusing on six fundamental facets of living the Jesus life, it combines theological teaching with practical application helping readers discover the fulness of life in Jesus. It’s something that we’ve only recently started using but are already seeing some success in encouraging our people to reach out and step in to the lives of others.

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