After his resurrection before ascending into heaven Jesus told his disciples that, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28.18-20) In English and in French there are at least three imperatives here: go, make disciples and teach, but in the original Greek text there is only one imperative and the others are participles. The one command that Jesus left was to “Make disciples.” This verse could be translated, “As you are going, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…and teaching them…” At Trinity, we believe that this is the center of the Christian faith; learning to follow Jesus, becoming his disciple.
If this is the most important thing, how does it happen? Discipleship begins with a decision to follow Jesus. The decision is not the end; it is the beginning, the beginning of a life of a disciple. Jesus was constantly calling people to follow him. The life of a disciple begins here. You believe that Jesus is the risen Son of God who died to make the perfect sacrifice for sin in order to bring us into a relationship with the Creator God. You turn away from being your own god and running your own life and you decide to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Another important step in the life of discipleship is water baptism. We want to be followers of Jesus, so as Jesus was baptized, those who decide to follow Him will be baptized as well. At Trinity, we baptize adult believers, those who have made a decision to follow Jesus.
But what comes next? Is there a process that a disciple of Jesus should follow? We believe there is and we would like to suggest a simple process for growing in the life of Jesus. Since a disciple is a “learner” and a “follower,” we want you to know how you can immerse yourself in the life and story of Jesus. Our vision at Trinity is this: Trinity is a multi-cultural spiritual community committed to helping people follow Jesus Christ for the good of the world and for the glory of God. Remember that we said that a disciple is one who is “following Jesus.” That is our purpose, our vision and our plan here at Trinity.
We propose to do that through four C words:
Connection, Celebration, Character transformation and Caring influence :
Connection comes first. A disciple is one who has decided to follow Jesus, but that often comes about gradually through a process, as one realizes one’s need for God, for godly values and for a relationship with our Creator. That process is greatly enhanced as we connectwith other people who are followers of Jesus, and they help us connect to the living God through faith in Jesus Christ. We invite people who are at various stages of this process or maybe who have not yet decided to follow Jesus but are curious to come and connect with us and with God by being a part of Trinity International Church.
The other three C words cannot really be lined up as a linear process but rather are a cycle as we learn to grow in all three of these: celebration, character transformation and caring influence. Perhaps the best way to illustrate these would be a triangle.
The triangle is a tool to help awaken people to the “kingdom” moments of their life and to live in the life of Christ. A follower of Jesus is one who is learning to live his/her life in His rhythm and with His priorities. As we learn to think of our lives as existing within an UP/IN/OUT framework, we are better equipped to listen and see where God is at work in our lives and in the lives of others.