All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, as you go, make disciples, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I commanded you. And look, I am with you every day, right up to the end. Matt 28.18f
CHANGED LIVES => CHANGING LIVES:
MAKING DISCIPLE-MAKING DISCIPLES
Making disciples has two aspects: making new disciples from every ethnicity and people group and; furthering the discipleship of those who are already with us.
Disciples of Jesus share the gospel of the kingdom by their lives and words. This leads to an invitation to become part of the body of Christ on earth, and has implications for usual Sunday attendance.
- We will look for ways to engage with the communities on the island that enable us to share the gospel.
- We will look for those who are gifted in evangelism and release and enable them in their God-given ministry.
- We will enable those who are not so evangelistically-minded in their everyday witness to Jesus, so that they are ‘ready at any time to give a defence to anyone who asks … for a reason for the hope’ we have. (see 1 Peter 3:15)
Disciples of Jesus engage in lifelong learning to obey everything Jesus commanded his first followers to do: This includes, and can be defined as, the great commandments of loving God and loving one’s neighbour. Such learning should result in behaviour change, not merely extra information. Weekday Bible-study groups are growing to meet this need. Lent courses, run ecumenically and the training of Authorised Local Ministers also deepen discipleship.
Disciples of Jesus respond to human need with loving service: the Food Bank is a prime example of this, as is the bereavement support group and the Ignite project, alongside the many simple acts of loving service in the day-to-day lives of Jesus’ followers.
Disciples of Jesus work to transform unjust structures in society. We are a Fair-trade group of Churches and work with Christians Against Poverty. The Rev’d Jeanette McLaren’s chaplaincy also deals with issues of social justice and deprivation.
Disciples of Jesus strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and seek to restore, sustain and renew the life of the earth. We promote recycling, ensure that our lighting is energy-saving, and we are beginning to promote a ‘bring your own mug’ approach to coffee after church. Where possible we buy local/support local.
Note: the categories used above come from the 'Five Marks of Mission', the worldwide Anglican Communion's agreed mission statement. More information can be found here.