Vision for Discipleship requires us to balance the “Up”, “In” and “Out” in our relationships. Mike Breen & Steve Cockram talk about this concept in Building a Discipling Culture. It comes directly from Scripture:
Up: In Luke 6:12- One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. First and foremost, Sunday School is about loving God with all our heart, soul and mind as Matthew 22:37 NIV. Our internal motivation is to focus on Bible study/prayer as a way to love God with our hearts and minds.
Are you spending time with God daily in Bible study & prayer?
Are you encouraging your class members to do the same? The more we can recognize our identity in Christ, the better we are able to focus outward in relating to others.
In: In Luke 6: 13-16 we read: When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. Jesus chose to build a community around outcasts. He invited them to follow him and challenged them to be fishers of men.
Are you building community in your class? Are you providing an environment of care for each person?
Building community requires time outside of class to get to know members in the class. It requires opportunities for trust, intimacy and growth.
Out: In Luke 6: 17-19 we read: 17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all. Jesus chose to look beyond the circle of 12 to reach out into the community.
Are you providing opportunities for the class to serve outside the church?
Are you helping them to see the mandate by Christ in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) to make disciples and evangelize?
The Great Commission is very clear that we are to make disciples as we go. Help class member look beyond themselves to others in our world.
Teachers: find one of the areas of “Up”, “In” and “Out” to begin planning for a New Year. Revision each year is essential to move to a discipling experience. What are your goals for the New Year?