Discipl…

Psalm 94; Proverbs 13:18; Matthew 18:15–17; 2 Corinthians 13:1–4

Discipleship is a buzzword these days. In church circles, digital and , there are regular (and worthwhile) conversations about ship. There are fancy names such as “ship pathway” or “growth tracks” or any number of others. All of them are one of many ways to think about and to name the daily work of becoming more like .

Sunday School was quite the thing at many points in church history. John Wesley, the “grandfather” of the Church of the Nazarene denomination, was a great proponent of it. Some would claim that John Wesley’s desire to and educate the poor led to the opportunity (with failures and success) of public schools to educate all the children, not just the rich and ful ones.

As the cultural seasons have changed, however, the weakness of the knowledge imparted has become apparent. In following the Enlightenment’s path, knowledge of fs began to override relationship with . This led to intellectual assent of the Savior with ts that were cold.

The Holiness has long held that the true path of the Christian life is to become more like Christ. Yes, that is a high standard. One doesn’t do much if one aims low. The focus on ship would seem to fix the missing pieces. Except…

Discipline comes from the same root as . This is not coincidental. To be a requires discipline. We often think ’ 12 Disciples weren’t that disciplined (impetuous Peter and corrupt Judas Iscariot often come to mind). They walk with for as long as 3 years. That simple ion is one of discipline.

Often, we “soften” discipline by saying “ual disciplines”, being prayer, reading scripture, worship, ing, fellowship, giving, and other depending on whose list you read. The ual disciplines are good and helpful to build up your Christian walk. They should not be ignored or dismissed. However, there is one aspect of being transformed into the likeness of Christ that we, especially we individualistic Americans, don’t like…the other discipline.

This is a hard topic in many churches. Pastors don’t really want to talk about it. Most people don’t want to about it. Individualistic tendencies have created a monster that the people of the church will have to fight. Of course, they/we are the monster we have to fight.

Church discipline, that of correcting a member, is not something ever done lightly or without love and discernment. We have all d horror stories of church discipline gone wrong, emotionally harming and ually devastating people. None of us want that.

The true depth of discipline is among fellow believers who hold one another accountable, not to shame or guilt them, but to be the tools by which a person is transformed into the likeness of Christ.

※Questions※

1) What disciplines are you following to become more like ?

2) Who is involved in your sharpening and discipline? Whose walk are you involved in to sharpen and be a tool of discipline?

3) Why do you think discipline and disciplines (i.e., “ual”) have been separated from being a ?

※Prayer※

, let your Holy Spirit guide us and to be followers and do-ers of your will. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.