Yes, you read that right. Three Years. Two out of every three months for the next three years, our Sundays will be devoted to Becoming Disciples.
Why? It’s simple really, our vision as a church is to be a church full of disciples making disciple-makers. We aren’t okay with having a bunch of people attend our church. We have been called by Jesus to make disciples, and that is what we are sold out on. We are die hard committed to making disciples here at SixEight Church. Since this is our vision, we must pursue it with diligence.
Why three years? Well, Jesus spent three years with the disciples in his public ministry. Is there something magical about a three year span. No. But what it tells us is, it takes time to change old habits and create a new lifestyle. It takes time to learn how to think and act like a disciple. It’s not something that can happen over night. It’s not something that is magically imparted to us when we receive God’s free gift of grace. We have to learn to lay our lives down and pick up our new life – which is the cross of discipleship.
This isn’t just a 3 year sermon outline either. This is going to require a commitment from us all. We have been working for months now to come up with a plan that will facilitate this journey the other 167 hours a week that we aren’t gathered together. It’s not a big time commitment, but we are asking everyone to make this commitment. It will take about 10 minutes a day to walk through everything we are planning to do.
What does a disciple look like then? It’s been a process for us as a staff to discover what this looks like. Through lots of study and the culmination of several resources we have put together a list of 13 attributes of a disciple. There is a lot more to it than these 13 character traits, but these are the things that we think, if we really internalize we can be fairly certain that someone has been discipled. This is what it’s going to look like:
This is the most important thing we do as a church. We do a lot of important ministries at SixEight Church. We have been careful to select the ministries that we do to make sure we are only doing the most important things. We have refused to add a lot of ministries because they aren’t in line with who we want to be as a church. But making disciples is the most important thing we do as a church. All of our ministries lead in to this, work to accomplish this or lead people to go and do this. There is nothing we do that is more important than this.
We are not going to be the church that puts on the best show. Does this mean we aren’t going to try to have an excellent gathering time on Sunday mornings? No, it doesn’t. But what it means is, we aren’t going to divest a lot of energy trying to put on a show to keep up with an industry that has 100 times the resources to create the show than we have. Does this mean we will stop trying to be relevant? Absolutely not. It’s just that we believe the principles of discipleship are just as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago. In fact, many of them are more relevant today than ever and they are more needed today than any time in recent history.
What all this means is, Disciple-making is the main thing. We are going to make the main thing the main thing. We aren’t going to be concerned with trying to keep up with what other churches are doing. We aren’t going to change our message to make it easier for people to receive. We aren’t going to skip the hard issues because they aren’t popular. We are going to spend the most of our energy focused on what we’re supposed to be focused on.
But how are we supposed to respond to things that go on around us during this time? That’s why we are taking every third month off. For two months we will focus on a single attribute, then for the month we are off we will change our focus to something that is happening like Christmas and Easter, and other world events.
So, are you ready? I hope so. We hope so. We are excited about this and about what God is going to do in all of our lives through this.