Jan 10, 2022
At Crossgate, our purpose is that “we make more and better disciples for Jesus Christ.” It’s simple, clear, and grounded in making disciples.
At Crossgate, we also have intentionally and deliberately defined what a disciple is—because, after all, if you don’t have a target, you won’t hit anything: “A disciple is a growing follower of Jesus, who lives and loves like Jesus and lead others to follow him.”
In Mark 1:14-17 we see Jesus launching his ministry by preaching the Gospel accompanied by a call to follow him—some have called this “the discipleship Gospel.” Let’s think for a minute about the comprehensive scope of what Jesus said: repent, believe, follow, and lead.
When Jesus said “repent,” of course, he was talking about turning from sin—which is ALWAYS a key theme of the Gospel in the New Testament:
Like repent, the word “believe” is not necessarily a religious word. It means to put your full trust in something. To believe in the Gospel means to put your full trust in the fact that (1) Jesus died for YOUR sins and that (2) he rose again physically for YOUR everlasting life.
That’s what we mean, by the way, when we say “Make a Decision” as part of our “Next Steps” disciple-making strategy. You make a decision regarding the Gospel. And that decision leads to what’s often called “conversion.” It’s a moment in time.
When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he was talking about transformation that leads to replication—once you’ve turned from your sin and believed, Jesus begins to transform you through following him. (Matthew 10:24-25)
Jesus told Peter, Andrew, James, and John that he would make them “fishers of men”—i.e., he would make them disciple makers. He used the language of fishing, of course, because they were fishermen. In our own disciple-making language, we say that a disciple “leads others to follow Jesus.”
That’s what I call the “FULL scope” of the “discipleship Gospel”—repent, believe, follow, and lead. That’s pretty much what our definition of a disciple covers, isn’t it?
Let me say it again, the full scope of the discipleship Gospel, undergirded by the power of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit, produces transformation that leads to replication. That’s what I call the Life of the Discipleship Gospel.
Think back to the people who originally heard Jesus talk about repentance, faith, following, and leading . . . those who experienced transformation that leads to replication. What happened to those guys?
Acts 17:6 – “These men have turned the world upside down.”
Bill Hull – “Before the church can take over the world, Christ must take over the church.”
We’re not talking about more classes. Classes are all about information. I’m talking about transformation.”
Conclusion: What do you need to do in your life to better live out the Discipleship Gospel?