This past Sunday, at the congregation I am privileged to serve, I was asked during the message to contemplate something I have been talking with my pastor about for some time. We were asked “Are we just members of a congregation or are we disciples of Jesus?” Now before you get angry and say this is just part of the wishy washy Christianity that says I don’t want to go to Church or organized religion I just want to follow Jesus crowd. That was not the question I am asking, nor was it the question asked of us on Sunday.
The question we were asked is do you just want to be a member or do you want to be something more? Do you want to be a disciple? You may be asking “what is the difference?” Those terms have meaning and this is what I think they mean. Members are people who belong to a group for a benefit. Disciples are people dedicated to the teachings of a master and to spreading that teaching to others.
Did you become a member of the Church just for the benefits? Are you coming to our Church to have someone to bury you when you die, or someone to marry you when you fall in love? Are you coming to youth group just so you can go on trips, and have fun events? Or, are you coming to this community, this congregation, because this community is dedicated to learning from the master Jesus Christ. You see a disciple is something more that just coming to make sure our name is on a membership role. You are coming to meet with these people so we can learn from the Master. We come so we can learn who God is through his Son Jesus Christ, the Master. As disciples we don’t just learn about Jesus but we go and share that Jesus with others. A disciple is a learner and a sharer. He or she not only gets something but shares something with those who God has put in her path.
So are we challenging our students, our children, and our families to be disciples? Are we challenging ourselves? Are we reinforcing a mentality that says “I come to this place called Church so I can be a member, and receive my rewards for doing this. Or are we challenging ourselves, our people, our families to be disciples. Are we asking them to be in the Word to receive the greatest gift we have in Jesus. Are we asking our students, parents, families, adults, and children to be disciples who come to the master to learn and to share? I pray our answer is yes.