It’s actually fascinating to see how this last piece plays out in the life of Jesus, the New Testament and every missional movement that has swept the known world in the past 2000 years. Each had an agreed on discipling language that everyone used to shape their lives and the life of the community that embodied the teachings in scripture about life in the Kingdom of God. A few quick examples:
Jesus and the early church: Short parables about life in the Kingdom of God
Monastic missional movements: Rule of Life (think about the Benedictines with their 13 rules)
John Wesley: Twenty-one questions for his class meetings (my favorite is the last question: “Have I lied in any of the answers in the previous questions?”)
Having an agreed upon discipling language is one of those small, subtle things that makes all the difference in the world because almost every cultural anthropologist will tell you thatÂ language creates culture. The fact of the matter is that you have a culture in your church which means you have a shared language. But chances are it’s by accident and that means there’s a high probability it isn’t producing the culture you’re hoping for so it will produce missional disciples.
What language does is allow a fluid and easy way of traversing between the ORGANIZED (vehicle) and the ORGANIC (access). Eventually, over time, this scriptural discipleship language shapes the way you think, behave, live. It transforms you and the community that is also shaping you because it’s creating a culture. For me, I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life developing a language that would work in a post-Christian context, developing a vehicle calledÂ HuddleÂ that would deliver those more organized, formal discipling times. So how about you?
Have you seen these things at work?
What does your organized time look like?
Are you being attentive to the organic times?
Do people have access to your life?
Do you have a dynamic discipling language, or is it happening by accident?
This blog post is part of a 6 week series related to the release of my new, re-written edition of Building a Discipling Culture: How to release a missional movement by discipling people like Jesus did, which shows how we made disciples in a truly post-Christian context. If youâ€™re interested in picking it up, click here.