Make Us Like Jesus: Discipleship in Five Syllables

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A proposed process for fully fleshing-out the Six Syllable Gospel:

  1. Join together to ask God to make us like Jesus.
  2. Interpret everything that happens as God answering that prayer.
  3. There is no step 3.

This was inspired by Mike Breene’s landmark article from 2011, recently trending in Verge, on why the missional movement will fail, which has been making the rounds at our church.  We explicitly pivoted to become a missional church almost three years ago, and his article beautifully captures the vey issues we are grappling with this month.

Mike’s article did a brilliant job of reminding us that our primary aspiration needs to be making disciples, not than just “doing church.”  However, even after reading part 2, I wasn’t clear on how to turn those aspirational values into operational values, especially in the context of a local church.

As I was praying about it, the key phrase that grabbed me was “Make us like Jesus” — in contrast to the “Make me like you” mentality of many human-centered discipleship models.  This emphasizes:

  1. It is God who is making us (Philippians 2:13)
  2. We are all in this together (Matthew 18:18-20)
  3. The goal is to always become more like Jesus (Luke 6:40)

Importantly, I have become convinced that God is already actively working in our circumstances towards that end (Hebrews 12:7-11).  However, because we have failed to understand His purpose for our lives (Romans 8:22-30), we often misinterpret His activity as obstacles rather than assistance!

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