Pastor’s Blog January 2017

“Christians in the West, have largely neglected what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The vast majority of western Christians are church members, pew fillers, hymn singers, sermon tasters, bible readers, even born again believers or spirit filled charismatics, but not true disciples of Jesus. If we were willing to learn the meaning of true discipleship and actually to become disciples, the church in the west would be transformed and the resultant impact on society would be staggering. This is no idle claim. It happened in the first century.”

This is the startling claim made by David Watson in his book Discipleship. 36 years on from the publication of his book David Watson’s words seem to me even more urgent.

Jesus said he would build his church and he told us to go and make disciples. We often want to build the church and leave the making of disciples to others!

As we enter a New Year I want to say I believe the pressing priority for Bramhall Baptist Church is to focus on making disciples. This covers the whole spectrum of those who have no faith and those who have been following Christ for decades, it embraces our mission to win people for Christ and our life together as a church.

In Ephesians 4:13, Paul urges the Ephesians to “become mature”. There are many facets to maturity let me suggest 4:

  1. Knowledge, we need to grow in our understanding of God and the gospel.
  2. Ethical, we need to understand what that means in terms of the way we live our lives and of course do it!
  3. Social, we cannot do this on our own, we are to contribute our God given gifts to the work of building up one another. We therefore need to be thoroughly rooted in a local church.
  4. Mission, maturity means we are actively involved in making disciples.

We each of us need to decide that we are committed to grow as disciples of Jesus, to become mature in him.

Here are 4 questions for us to reflect upon at the beginning of 2017.

  • What am I going to do to become a more mature disciple of Christ in 2017?
  • How am I going to engage with the bible in 2017?
  • How will I spend time with God in prayer?
  • What part is Christ calling me to play in his church so that others will be helped towards maturity in him?

At the beginning of every year I set myself some goals, I don’t always achieve them but I try to be intentional in my desire to better follow Christ in each New Year. So can I encourage you to find the time to reflect on what actions you could take to be a better disciple of Jesus.

Phil Dixon