For 23 years I have had a personal relationship with the Lord, and yet, I feel as though I have only just begun to understand and participate in discipleship.
Three years ago, my wife, Misty and I visited Lakewood for the first time. We both loved the authentic community, the genuine worship, and Kids Cove! Then, we were introduced to another aspect of Lakewood that we hadn’t experienced before: Life Stewardship. We watched and saw that the leaders of Lakewood weren’t just talking the talk, but they were walking the walk. It was evident to us that they were serious about their commitment to Christ, His Church, and His work through their lives. It was much more than just a Sunday morning experience or a Wednesday night class. They were modeling for us how to steward our entire lives for Christ, and it looked attractive to us.
Misty and I were drawn to that level of commitment. The openness, integrity, honesty and genuine love of Christ was something we wanted more of in our lives. We both felt the Holy Spirit drawing us to connect with individuals at Lakewood. One Sunday morning, I remember walking up to Scott Legg.
“Scott, I know this may sound crazy,” I said, “but I feel like the Holy Spirit is wanting to connect us somehow.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was asking Scott to disciple me. I was drawn to Scott because I saw him modeling all the things I wanted in my life. Scott invited me, Daniel Caldwell, Steven Pettit and Will Williams to join him in a Life Transformation Group (LTG). LTGs are designed to transform individuals to be more like Christ and impact others for His glory, which is discipleship!
Discipleship is the process of being a follower of Jesus Christ and making followers of Jesus Christ. We are all called to be disciples and make disciples.
Early on in Christ’s ministry, we are introduced to the teacher/student, guide/follower, master/apprentice relationship, and the idea of how to be a disciple. Once you have accepted Christ, confessed with your mouth and believed with your heart that He is Lord, and you begin that deep personal relationship with Him, then you become one of His disciples.
Scott showed us how to be faithful disciples and become more like Christ in every aspect of life. For two years, we met together to study the word, encourage each other in being faithful, hold each other accountable, and the transformation was overwhelming! We all look more like Christ now than we did two years ago. Not only that, we know that the transformation hasn’t stopped. We are prayerfully becoming more like Christ every day.
Many of us know the Great Commission found in Matthew 28. Perhaps, you even have it memorized, but are you actually making disciples of Jesus Christ? Scott was fulfilling this commission when he took the four of us and challenged us to be faithful. He modeled for us how to read the Bible, pray and live in the present in light of eternity. As we grew to be more like Christ, we began to understand and desire to fulfill Matthew 28 ourselves. We were eager to give away the amazing life change we were experiencing. Amazingly now, we are all leading other men through the discipleship process. We are disciples of Christ, still learning and becoming more like Him, and we are making disciples of Christ.
Where are you in this journey? Are you a faithful disciple of Christ? Do you have that deep personal relationship with Him? Are you connected to a community that encourages and holds you accountable to be more like Christ? Are you making disciples of Jesus Christ?
Lakewood is a regional church that makes disciples of Jesus Christ, and we would love to help you grow in discipleship! If you are looking for a discipleship group, we have new groups forming all the time. We can help you get connected to Group Life by filling out this short questionnaire.
If you would like to discuss discipleship more, our team would love to connect with you and guide you through the process. Scott and Dawn Smith lead our Adult Discipleship team, and Allie Weaver will help you connect to us.