Friday, January 02, 2009

The Big 4

Even if you've been in a whole lately, you know about the Big 3. They were the lucky recipients of my money. :) But enough about cars and bailouts. The new year is a great time to evaluate your life. As someone who's passionate about making disciples who make disciples, I thought I'd share four habits that are essential to a growing disciple. I call them The Big 4. They are things that we do as opposed to things that we know. So what are The Big 4? Here you go:

1. Spiritual Disciplines. These are things like Bible reading, prayer, solitude, and fasting (I know, that's a dirty word). In my opinion this is the most important of the Big 4. Spiritual disciplines are essential to being a growing disciple. We see Jesus going off by himself to pray. He takes a 40 day fast before he begins his ministry. We see that he knows the Bible backwards and forwards. This is so important to me that we're going to be spending the first four Sundays of 2009 talking about one specific Spiritual Discipline: Reading your Bible. How's your discipline?

2. Community. You cannot do the Christian life alone. It's impossible. You need a community. You need relationships. We see this modeled in the trinity. We see this modeled in how Jesus discipled the 12. Real discipleship requires real relationships. Who are you doing life with?

3. Service. Most pastors limit this service to positions that are inside the church. And while those are important I think that service is more of a way of life than something you check off each Sunday. It's giving your neighbor a ride, making a friend a meal, helping someone who's less fortunate, plus contributing to the mission of your local church. Jesus did say that he didn't come to be served by to serve. Where are you serving? Is service a way of life?

4. Worship. Worship is a lifestyle. It's arranging your entire life so that it makes God look good. At the same time, however, I think it's essential for disciples of Jesus to worship together on a regular basis. Do you gather for worship regularly?

There you have it: The Big 4. Each is essential to discipleship. But even though each is essential and you can't go without one of the four, I've put them in order of importance... from my perspective. So how are you doing with The Big 4? How about starting the year off with the commitment to develop habits that help you grow as a disciple of Jesus.

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