Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The One Another Factor of Making Disciples

Did you know that Paul, who wrote two thirds of the New Testament, never used the word disciple in any of his writings? Interestingly neither Peter nor John used the term either. What they did emphasize is the concept of "one another." They understood the one another factor of making disciples

Neither Paul, John, nor Peter explained their reasons for leaving the word "disciple" out of their letters, but we do see their passion for making disciples in their emphasis of the phrase "one another."
  • Paul said believers were to do many things for “one another.”  For instance, we are to “be devoted,” “honor,” “love,” “accept,” “not judge,” “instruct,” “agree,” and “serve.”   
  • Peter included “living in harmony" and “offering hospitality."
  • John emphasized “love” over and over again.  
  • Paul also spoke of the body, as am image of how the church was to function with each part using its gifts for the benefit of all.  
Perhaps the reason the word "disciple" is not used is because of its connotation in the first century as one who followed a specific teacher.  Paul, John and Peter did not want followers of men; rather they desired to produce believers who were devoted, honoring, loving, accepting etc….  Maybe, just maybe, that happens more in relationships with “one another,” than it does sitting under the teaching of one person.

The problem today is that it is far easier to go to church for a worship service and listen to a sermon than it is to be in relationships with “one another.”  Even the times believers spend together are often few and far between, as the busyness of life and the distance between homes works to separate and hinder any sense of real community.

How then can we “disciple one another” in our current climate? One option is to consider using the technology of our day to support "one another" relationships. Notice I said support, not replace.  One option is to utilize what I call blended online learning with offline connections.

By using some of the insights learned from social networking and successful teaching models, blended online learning encourages reflection, connection, and biblical application which are all critical to making disciples as Jesus did.

One such organization has provided you with an opportunity to test drive this concept. It is called Arkeo. Check out Arkeo.com for more information on how you can capitalize on the technology of our age to enhance the "one another" factor of making disciples.

Dave Hampson, 4:12 Network member and online discipleship specialist for Arkeo. Read more about Dave . . .