Discipleship ––The Contact Sport
Don’t leave it in Indy
By Jim Boesch
Those of you who participated in the awesome 2017 National Gathering of United Methodist Men are charged with living out what you experienced in Indianapolis and taking the momentum created there to empower others.
Those of you who did not come to Indianapolis, pray for God to put men in your life who did attend the gathering so they can influence you with what they bring back to their Christian communities.
Let’s break down the theme of the gathering into its component parts so it may be better understood and utilized.
Discipleship is the transformational process of following and becoming like Jesus Christ through kingdom-building ministries.
“From childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
––2 Timothy 3: 15-17
Discipleship is about heart transformation.
The biggest challenge in discipling is to follow Jesus in creating lasting change and not just temporary emotional reactions:
- Short-term change is driven by the current environment and is only brief behavior modification.
- Permanent change must occur to drive the heart transformation, which is, at its core, the DNA of Christian discipling.
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ And they left their nets at once and followed him.”
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
John Wesley said, “The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.”
God created us to be in relationship with others, and Jesus founded His Church to be the vehicle that allows us to do life together as we seek to build His earthly kingdom.
Men want to be in contact with others:
- In community with others to pursue common goals.
- As part of a team with a common mission.
- In relationship with a diverse group of like-minded seekers of common truths, dreams and legacies.
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.’
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.”
––Mark 12: 29-31
Most sports provide a shared challenge with clear values and beliefs in the pursuit of victory.
Sport has defined strategies and objectives.
Most men engage in sports in order to build a legacy that matters in the lives of others.
Jesus equips us and gives us the final assignment for the ultimate sporting event:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In the end, our charge is to live wholly and totally into the lives of others in order to help others become followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.
The most effective way for us to enable others to become disciples is to help them discover who God created them to be.
It all comes back to living out the theme of our 12th National Gathering.
Discipleship is indeed a contact sport!
Jim Boesch, deployed staff member
General Commission on UM Men