Discipling is critical for our Christian growth as individuals as well as for making the gospel visible in our life together as a church.
Almost everything we do as a local church is about being and making disciples. The songs we sing, the prayers we pray, and certainly the sermons that are preached all aim to grow us as God-glorifying disciples.
Jesus tells us to pursue one another like this: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:17). How did Jesus love his disciples in ways that could be imitated? He loved them intentionally, purposefully, humbly, joyfully and normally.
What Discipling Looks Like
So how could you love other members in this way? Ideas could be:
- Meet weekly to discuss the prior Sunday’s sermon, a book of the Bible or a book. (See our Suggested Materials page for recommendations)
- Attend an iGrow class together and discuss application in one another’s lives.
- Invite unmarried members to sit in on family devotions.
- Accompany mothers with young children as they run errands.
- Help dads with yard work and ask them for counsel.
- Schedule “play dates” for kids and talk about the Sunday night talk.
What’s important is that you pursue something, something where you have time to relate to another member with the intentional aim of encouraging and being encouraged by the truth from God’s Word.
Establishing a Discipling Relaitonship
There are three ways to establish a discipling relationship at The Ridge.
First, take the personal initiative to try to work out a discipling relationship with any other member (of your same gender, please). No staff permission needed! Instead, show up to church early. Stick around late. Start getting to know other people. Over time we hope you will begin to build the kind of relationships where these things happen naturally.
Second, talk to your LIFEgroup leader, they may not be free to meet up with you regularly, but as they get to know you, chances are they can help connect you with another member who would.
Third, if neither of these avenue’s results in a regular discipling relationship, feel free to contact one of the church staff or elder for help. There are always several members who, because of schedules, geography, or other reasons, find it difficult to connect with another member one-on-one. In those cases, the church staff is happy to help.
We do encourage you to start with your own initiative. It just might cause you to flex and even develop the discipline and evangelism muscles that will serve you and others for years to come. You might find that doing so becomes one of the most satisfying experiences of your life as a Christian. And you might find yourself understanding more clearly what Jesus meant when he said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).