Gospel, Discipleship, Vocation, Mission
These ideas have become very familiar terms in Christian circles today…
…perhaps too much so.
“Come, Follow Me.”
“Answering the call
of our Creator is the
ultimate why for living,
the highest source
of purpose in
The dynamic, life-giving work and message of Jesus has been obscured from people who seek to find meaning and purpose in life. The call to follow a Person has been reduced to a call to obey deadening legalisms, incapable of producing the kind of people we both desire to be and were created to be. This has resulted in further marginalization of the church, challenging our intention to be a redemptive presence in our city and world.
As apprentices of Jesus, we help people and churches become who they were created to be so they may join God to help our city and world flourish and become all that it can be.
The gospel is the message of Jesus that so grips us with God’s grace and forgiveness that it changes us from the inside out. Far from moralistic or behaviorial legalisms, the gospel breathes life into us, transforming us and helping us become our true selves in light of God’s grace.
We see discipleship as the process by which we learn how to become like our master, Jesus. We find that through the centuries, God has provided means by which his people might interact with God’s overtures of grace in our lives, thereby helping us to think, feel, and act like Jesus. Discipleship is a journey that moves us from inward change to outward witness.
The notion of vocation or calling is a key concept that must be recovered for the church today. It reminds us that the God of the universe invites us to be in relationship with him and that we get to be an integral part of the family business. When we recognize how calling and vocation and work are very closely related, we can avoid a dualism that prevents the average Christian from living as we could.
The mission for Jesus’ disciples is to participate in God’s work of renewing, redeeming, and restoring the world so it looks like it ought to look. By stewarding our lives, we participate in pushing back the dehumanizing effects of poverty, disease, and oppression.