Northside United Methodist Church
Saturday, March 17, 2018


Charting the Course…A Study In Discipleship

Bill Fuqua's talk during the March 22nd Sunday Service
I hope many of you have read the statement in the Spirit: Charting the Course… A Study in Discipleship. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to do so. It explains what we have been trying to do within Northside to understand more clearly the mission of the Church… “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world” and to define what the terms Disciple and Discipleship mean for Northside. This statement is the product of many hours of study, thought, discussion and yes, even argument. It represents our small group’s best answer, so far, of what a disciple is and what discipleship means. And this is what we have come up with so far:
A disciple is one who strives to learn, grow and change to become more like Christ.
Discipleship is a journey, nurtured by the Holy Spirit, of drawing yourself and others ever closer to Jesus Christ.
Key words here are learn, grow, change and particularly: Journey
Most of us have already committed to being a disciple or to “becoming” a disciple. Where we each are on the journey is an individual decision. And, we still have many questions. How do I know if I am a disciple? What does it feel like to be a disciple? Is it enough to say “I’m a Christian, I believe in Jesus.” The Bible says even the demons believe in Jesus. If I asked all of you who consider yourselves disciples, to please stand up, would you feel confident about standing up? And, would you look around to see who else was standing? We still need to figure out what more we can do at Northside to help us all on our journey. What can we do to “make” disciples? And, How will we know when we have done our job well?
Next week, four of us will go to Nashville, Tennessee to try to find answers to these and other questions. We have only begun to accomplish what we set out to do, but we have one more year to get it straight. My wife had a saying which usually came up when we had a station wagon full of kids and luggage and were traveling on a dark road in a foreign country where we didn’t speak the language, looking for the proverbial room at the inn. The questions would come up “ are we there yet?” and “are we lost?”. Her answer was “ We’re not lost, we are on an Adventure” And that’s where we are folks, we are on an Adventure, perhaps the greatest one we will ever go on.