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Missional Communities - Discipleship

What is it that makes a social space size group (see previous post) an effective place for mission?  I think it is a commitment to discipleship as imitation. 

In the West we have often equated discipleship with information transfer - I have some knowledge or ideas that I need to communicate to you.  So we have discipleship courses or discipleship programs.  However in the bible discipleship is much more about imitation than merely information transfer.  Imitation doesn't mainly happen in the class room, it happens life on life - eating together, cleaning up after meals together, relaxing together, working together, sharing what God is speaking to us about, and praying together.

So in a missional community context - discipleship doesn't just mean a presentation from the front, rather it involves leaders inviting people into their lives so they get a chance to learn from and imitate the life of Jesus in them.  There will be elements of this in the social space gathering but it will also be in the praying and planning that people are involved in beforehand, catching up for a coffee during the week, and in conversations where the specific focus is 'What is God saying to me, and What am I doing about it?

So in any plans for social space gatherings we need to ask the question - how are you going to do discipleship as imitation?

David Wanstall, 24/11/2010