REPRODUCING DISCIPLES AT LIFESPRING CHURCH
Whatever is alive and healthy reproduces itself. Normally, my garden does very well. However, the spring rain and saturated ground caused my garden to have the worst produce in years. The plants were alive, but did not produce. Finally, that is starting to turn around. My asparagus produced asparagus, the kale is producing kale, and the tomato plants are producing tomatoes. My healthy garden is now reproducing.
LifeSpring Church exists to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ by making disciples to the ends of the earth. Our mission as disciples is to reproduce more disciples. It has been a very busy year and summer of multiplying disciples at LifeSpring Church. Following Easter, we have had a very successful VBS, Celebration of Freedom, Super Summer (Camp for Middle School and High School), Mission trip to Honduras, and ON Mission Gospel effort with a visiting London team. This week Eagle Lake camp is taking place in the south campus. Whew!
What is a disciple anyway? We have to know what one looks like in order to make one, right? Disciple is a noun, not a verb. A disciple is someone who believes in Jesus and is being transformed by the Holy Spirit to live like Jesus and become like Jesus. So, a disciple starts out with faith in Jesus Christ. He/she believes that Jesus is God, that he died on the cross for their sins, raised from the dead, receives Him as personal Savior and Lord of his/her life. Every person who trusts in Christ is a disciple. The New Testament uses other terms for disciples, such as Christians, believers, brothers, sisters, saints, beloved, children of God…all terms of relationship. Disciples have an eternal relationship with God, by grace through faith.
People need to hear the Gospel in order to believe. This summer, hundreds have heard the Gospel through these events. The great news is that through your efforts there are 30 new disciples as a result of VBS, over 120 new disciples because of the Honduras Mission trip, and 24 new disciples as the result of the work done in Omaha and Lincoln with the London mission team. These 174 are the new disciples we know trusted Christ through the work of LSC. No doubt, there are many others. Praise God. God is pleased, angels are rejoicing, and so are we.
Of course, infant disciples grow to become mature followers (fully-trained disciples Luke 6:40) when we baptize them and teach them to obey the commands of Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20). Every disciple is at a different stage of maturity. We have a baptism this Sunday, followed by a swimming party. If you have not been baptized as Jesus commanded, I encourage you to follow Him. Be baptized like Jesus was baptized (contact the church office if you decide to be baptized). In order to mature in Christ, we need to Gather together with other believers in corporate worship and LifeGroups. We need to Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus by spending time reading the Bible, praying, and hearing and obeying the commands we are taught and learn. It is best to have accountability and do life together in LifeGroups. A true disciple of Jesus also will Give generously of his time, talents, spiritual gifts, and money to the Lord. A disciple also will intentionally Go to reproduce herself by investing in the lives of others. Go to your friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors and tell them about God's love, forgiveness, and gift of salvation. We go because we believe in Jesus, and also because we believe Jesus is in us. We go with the authority, message, and presence of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:20, Acts 1:8). When we do all this in love, we truly are living like Jesus and becoming like Jesus. We also Go to serve the Body of Christ in order for everyone to be built up in Christ.
As we make disciples, let's follow the model of Jesus to make disciples of Jesus: win the lost, build up believers (baptize and teach them), equip workers, develop leaders, and send out laborers into the harvest (to repeat the same).
As summer wraps up and we make the transition back into school and fall activities and ministries what can we do to live like Jesus and become like Jesus, which will please the Lord?
- Keep gathering to worship on Sunday mornings and invite others to join you.
- Join and be committed to a LifeGroup. Open your home as a host or learn to lead.
- Read your Bible and pray daily. Pray for each other, the staff, and missionaries.
- Give to the Lord with gladness and generosity. Trust Him with your finances.
- Serve the Lord. Get a job for God. Invest in the next generation.
- Teach a Sunday School class or help with our students. There are many ways to serve
- Even when you are serving behind the scenes, you are helping to make disciples.
- Tell a family member, friend, or neighbor about Jesus. We will help you learn how.
It is true that whatever is alive and healthy will reproduce itself, whether that is a tree, tomato plant, or disciple. Since we are disciples of Jesus, we must reproduce more followers of Jesus. When we do this, we please and glorify God and fulfill our purpose. What is your next step of obedience to live like Jesus and become like Jesus? What tools do you need to make disciples? The pastors are ready to equip you and pray with you and for you.
Pastor Steve Hicks
Coming September 8
A Church-wide Sunday Series: The Seven Deadly Sins