Discipleship

Dare to Be a Disciple

By Karen Polich

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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Pastor Kevin’s final sermon in the Making Disciples, sermon series looked at supervision and reproduction. Listen to the complete series via podcast here.

Supervision. Jesus kept watch over His followers. He taught the disciples the importance of rest. He led them into maturity as believers and He was always showing them His way and His provision. (Luke 10:18- 23, John 3:16)

“When was the last time you felt satisfied with God’s provision?” – Kevin Linthicum

We should take our role as disciples seriously and stop being satisfied with a low standard. Are we seeking and giving the best we have to offer?

Reproduction. The disciples needed to be able to produce more disciples. We should be in a place where we can produce more disciples. We should be interested in a person’s relationship with Christ. To look for a connection between going to church and salvation is wrong. It’s about knowing and choosing Jesus. Disciples produce fruit in their lives. (Matthew 28:19, Matthew 9:37)

“A person full of the spirit cannot help but to communicate the gospel to others. Your life is called for a purpose – to bring glory and honor to God.” – Kevin Linthicum

We should be seeking His will. Do we have what it takes to do what God has asked us to do? No, but HE DOES and He will equip each of us.

Every believer should be in the process of discipling or being discipled. The decision is yours.

Looking for a Great Gift? How About Discipleship?

By Tom Neal

I am truly a lucky man. For most of my adult life I have had all the things that people believe make a man feel happy and fulfilled: a great wife of twenty-five years, two awesome kids, a stable job, a handful of good friends, and enough stuff.  However, I was never consistently happy or content and always knew there was something missing in my life. In the back of my mind I knew that it was the lack of a connection with God. I would identify myself as a Christian, but I did not know Christ. I was lost.

This changed for me when I met Pastor Kevin Linthicum while working on the old First Baptist Church building in downtown Albuquerque. We were having a casual conversation waiting for some folks to show up for a tour of the building.  Kevin told me about his mission work in Malawi which fascinated me. Here was a man living his faith and traveling 10,000 miles away to share that faith. Our conversation eventually led to Kevin sharing the Gospel with me and asking me to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior.

This is probably where the story of discipleship should begin. Unfortunately, I told Kevin that I was not ready to accept Christ.

Kevin had touched a nerve and I could not get our conversation out of my mind.  He continued to reach out to me; I continued to resist. After many months, my heart changed and I began attending Sunday service and a small group. Kevin’s continued guidance led me to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior in October 2015 followed by my baptism in March 2016.  The transformation from lost to saved is the most powerful feeling that I have experienced in my entire life. The Holy Spirit working in me has created a deep desire for a closer relationship with Christ.

As a new follower of Christ, I was hungry for more and wasn’t quite sure what to do. I contacted Kevin and he told me that he would teach me as much as I wanted. This is the point that our discipleship relationship truly began. For the past eighteen-months we have been meeting every Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. with a few other men. The focus of our sessions is always the Bible. Over time it has evolved from deep dives into various books of the Old and New Testaments, to study related to the understanding the attributes and mind of Christ, to sharing the Gospel effectively with others.

Discipleship is a very personal process. It’s a journey. Having someone in your life that is committed and dedicated to your spiritual well-being is an amazing feeling. There are so many ways to stumble in this world and push God aside. For me, having a teacher has firmly planted me on a path moving towards Christ and obtaining the spiritual tools to resist those things which might cause me to stumble. Although I have a long road ahead, discipleship has moved me beyond those rocky first steps. I am now steadfast in my faith.

More importantly, I have been given this miraculous gift that I want to share with others so that they will also experience the joy and peace that comes with a life in Christ.

Discipleship is giving me tools and a deeper understanding of Scripture that will allow the Holy Spirit to work through me to spread the Good News of Christ, our Lord. I encourage everyone to embrace discipleship to grow spiritually and honor Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations. I can’t think of a better gift.

Making Disciples – Demonstration and Delegation

By Karen Polich

“People are looking for a demonstration not an explanation.” – Kevin Linthicum

Is your life teaching others how to live? Jesus demonstrated what life as a follower should look like. He showed the disciples how to live. Jesus demonstrated compassion, taught the practice of prayer and laid a clear path of discipleship through action.

Jesus never forced the disciples to pray, instead He showed them the practice of prayer, praying until they asked Him how to pray. Matthew 6:9-13 lays out the clear direction of prayer and the need for communication with God.

“This, then, is how you should pray:”
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

A life lived following Jesus produces disciples who can teach others what it means to be genuine and authentic as a follower.

Jesus gave the disciples things to do. He delegated tasks that required action on the part of the follower. (Matthew 10) He was clear that we should produce fruit. We are called to disciple and be discipled.

Afraid to share the Gospel? Matthew 10:20 says, “for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Our focus should be on obedience, giving our trust to the One who has called us.

Are you willing to invest years, full of determination to see things through when it comes to discipleship?

Listen to Pastor Kevin Linthicum’s sermon series, Making Disciples, via podcast here.

Making Disciples – Consecration and Impartation

By Karen Polich

Pastor Kevin Linthicum continued his sermon series, Making Disciples, with the next two steps in true discipleship. Listen to the sermon series via podcast here. Consecration and impartation were added to selection and association.

Consecration. Jesus required obedience. He simply said, “Follow Me.” Those who chose to follow him, trusted him and believed in him. They went the way of the cross.

“Is Jesus satisfying you right now?” – Kevin Linthicum

There is a price to discipleship. It costs something to be all in. We must let go of worldly pursuits and acknowledge Jesus above all things. Few choose to pay the price. We need to recognize and embrace the truth that spiritual apathy is at an all-time high. We shouldn’t be satisfied with where we are, but should be answering the call of the great commission. Are we willing to pay the price?

“You don’t find Jesus by running after those who have run away.” – Kevin Linthicum

Impartation. Jesus was the perfect example of what it means to be a servant. He gave Himself away. A follower of Christ who is a disciple will be a fruit producer. Disciples are compelled to share the gospel. When we are yielded to the work of the Holy Spirit, we will see the people around us who need to hear that message.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

You can’t give something away you’ve never had. God will overcome the world with or without you. Will you choose to be a disciple?

 

 

 

 

The Beauty of Discipleship

By Kristi Sullins

“Go therefore and make disciples”. It is a straight forward command Christ gave to the new church in Matthew 28:19. He did not give the followers a five-point plan or a “how-to” list. It was a straight forward command of action.

For most Christ followers that statement is translated as go and lead people to a saving faith in Christ. There is a clear call to evangelize in that statement, but it does not stop with belief. Christ called the church to do more than accumulate converts. He wanted those whom He had invested in to pass on the investment by making learning, lifetime believers. Believers who grew deep enough to disciple others.

What does this discipleship look like? The book of Acts gives us a beautiful picture of how the early church obeyed Christ’s command. They shared their lives.

It was that simple. Those who had seen and heard from Christ shared that knowledge. They ate together, learned together, shared their struggles and victories and the realities of their lives. Acts 2:42 gives us a picture of those first disciples.

Could you do that?  Do you have struggles, victories and failures you would be willing to share?    Would you open your table to someone who wants to spend time with you?  Would you be willing to learn alongside someone who also wants to know more about the life God has called us to live? Do you have room in your life for a brother or sister in Christ?  Would you love to know that there is someone praying for you and someone who trusts you to pray for them?  Then you should be discipling.

If your answer was no then there are bigger issues. For EVERYONE who says they are a follower of Christ then you do not have the right to refuse to disciple. It was a mandate given by Christ to all those who would choose to follow Him. He was not speaking to those who would be church leaders or missionaries. It was to the church, period. He was calling those who make up the church to remain in Him, obey and bear fruit. Discipling others is a fruit-bearing step of obedience we do not have the right to reject.

Neil Cole, author of the Organic Church, goes a step further when he compares the success of a church to the success of discipling. He says, “Ultimately each church will be evaluated by one thing, its disciples. It does not matter how good your praise, reaching, programs or property are. If your disciples are passive, needy, consumerist, not moving in the direction of obedience, your church in not good.”

Are you ready to step out in obedience and disciple?  The first thing to do is pray that God would show you who He would have you journey with. Then start actively looking. You don’t get to just sit and pray about it. Then make the commitment to find the time. The reality is that we all have the same amount of time, and we find time for what we consider important. When you accept that discipling others was a mandate to all believers you will find time for it. Surprisingly, when you make that commitment you will find that time of your week to be your very favorite, and most fulfilling.

That is a truth I can testify to. I am a working mother of three teenagers with a husband who has gone back to school. Time is something precious, but more precious to me is the time I spend each week with a young woman that God blessed me by putting in my life. Those couple of hours of sharing, studying, and praying are priceless to me. Sometimes we are deep in the Word and other times our weeks have been so rough that we are talking through life lessons. There has been much laughter, frequent tears, deep discussions, and learning on both sides. She is my family, my friend, and my constant reminder that no matter the ups and downs of my journey in this life, God can use it.

Discipling, living life together with the goal of becoming more like Christ. It is time for you to start.

 

 

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Becoming Disciples

By Karen Polich

“To make disciples of Jesus Christ.” That is the mission statement of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church.

Pastor Kevin Linthicum shared the Word on Sunday, teaching the beginning of what it means to disciple others. In his teaching, Pastor Linthicum interviewed Tom Neal about what it means to be in a discipleship relationship. Listen to the podcast here. We are called to do more than study God’s Word to make us feel good. We are here to produce fruit.

To be a disciple, we must follow Christ. It goes beyond our salvation. It is part of a willingness to grow and become who God designed us to be. Who can we then pour into? What lives might we impact for the Kingdom?

“You cannot take someone to a place you’ve never been. You can’t disciple if you haven’t been discipled.” – Kevin Linthicum

We are called to disciple others. Are we living as disciples? Do you yearn for more? If you don’t have someone in your life right now who is teaching you, ask someone. Commit yourself to a discipleship relationship.

In a few weeks, Pastor Kevin Linthicum will dig into a sermon series on discipleship. This series will take us on a journey of what it means to answer the call to disciple others. Get ready.