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Disciplined Discipleship

We begin this new year with a call for “disciplined discipleship!” How can you be more intentional with your faith formation?
Many of us began 2018 by pledging new year resolutions. Sadly, most of these well-intentioned plans will fall to the wayside within days or weeks. This may have already happened! One of the greatest roadblocks to meeting our goals may be the inability to maintain a routine. Being intentional is difficult.
Being a disciple is also difficult. Being a “disciplined disciple” is even more challenging.
But armed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and the inspiration of our faith forefathers, we possess the strength that will allow us to grow in faith and more effectively serve the Lord. The Church of Our Saviour, Lutheran is here to encourage your spiritual discipline.
January introduces the Season of Epiphany. The focus of this church season is awakening and growth. We are encouraged to discipline our faith journey to search for the Christ child, as did the magi following the star in the east. Examples of discipleship are found in the Gospel readings of January which focus on the call of the first disciples. This month, our congregation will also take time to discipline ourselves, to focus on our mission which takes place at our Annual Meeting, scheduled for January 21st. Several leaders of our church community will also be affirmed and installed into office for disciplined service as members of our congregation council. This takes place on January 28th.
Our “disciplined discipleship” initiative began with a fantastic result that reinforced our desire to be intentional in our ministry. We were blessed that many faithfully responded to our call to discipleship, allowing us to meet our year-end financial requirements. Thanks be to God for the intentional generosity that helped close an anticipated deficit. We are prayerful this commitment will be sustained to support our ministry.
We began this month’s evening adult theology program, “Wine about Religion,” on January 10th, focusing on the ministries of the Jesus’ twelve disciples. We will continue the remainder of the year by highlighting a different apostle each month beginning, this month, with Andrew, the first called by Jesus. We are hopeful the ministries of the disciples will compel us toward faithful service.
How may we individually become “disciplined disciples?” The short answer is to be intentional in your practices and establish achievable routines. You may do this with any or all of your faith practices:
Prayer: Do you pray on a regular basis? If not, try setting a specific time, such as bedtime, when you awake or when you prepare for a meal.
Worship: Do you attend worship regularly? If you attend only at Christmas and Easter, mark your calendar to attend a few additional times during the year. If you attend quarterly, try monthly. Once a month? Try every other week. And so on.
Charity: Do you support efforts to help those in need or causes that will make our world a better place? If so, how about increasing your support? Is there another charitable organization or ministry that could use your talents?
Stewardship: Are you blessed with gifts, time and talents that may be used in ways for the service of our Lord? Does your faith commitment motivate you to pledge your gifts to the needs of ministry? If so, please prayerfully consider how you may appropriately respond.
We pray that you will join us in the journey for “disciplined discipleship.”
Pastor Marc Herbst