It's been a crazy month (or summer for that matter). Feel like I got out of the groove of blogging for two weeks here because of all our hard work towards Rock the River, but really excited to jump back in.
This past month while leaving work for the day I had a realization that maybe everyone else has already had. That is that evangelism is discipleship. Or evangelism is a large part of discipleship. For those of you out of the loop - let me define the words:
Evangelism - sharing personal faith in Jesus Christ with others.
Discipleship - growing in our ability to follow Jesus Christ with all parts of our lives. (A disciple officially means a learner or follow of Jesus. What every Christian should be becoming).
So often I think we have the concept that discipleship is more about what we should not be doing. The stuff in our lives, struggles and temptations that we know we must do away with. However, discipleship is so much more as well.
Discipleship is also about learning to follow Christ in all characteristics of his time on earth. He did not just abstain from the world. He also spoke as the Father led him, got up early to pray in solitude, fasted for forty days, preached the Good News to the poor, taught/mentored his disciples and tred Golgotha to the cross. One can easily see that Christianity and discipleship is more about what we DO that what we are not supposed to do. And a huge item on every Christian's to do list is evangelism.
So in our churches, in our youth ministries and in our personal lives we are called to something incredible. Really it's a great adventure - being a part of God's rescue mission to the earth. We are called to serve the least of these, to do small unseen things for others, to give more than we consume, to pray hard, to tell our friends about Christ's effect on our hearts, to take a stand for what we believe when called upon and to change the world. For leaders, we are called to take those we lead to this level.
Evangelism is discipleship.