Friday, September 25, 2009

Fighting for Discipleship ... What it should look like.

Today I conclude my review and summary of Fights Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship. In sum, Fight Clubs is a solid reminder of what true Christian discipleship should be about. In this efficient presentation, Dobson challenges us to put Christ at the center of any discipleship efforts (programs), and he gives us a brief picture of what that might look like in actuality.

Dobson’s ministry (he is the Lead Pastor of
Austin City Life Church) is that unique marriage of strongly committed reform (Calvinistic) theology to innovative emergent methodology. And Fight Clubs reflects that. I appreciate his willingness to share this ministry with the greater body of Christ (for free! that in itself says much about him and his passion to serve all of us).

There are things to be learned from the stripped down, bare essential, approach. And there is certainly a value in being reminded of the centrality of Christ to the discipleship process (that is, of focusing our discipleship motivation and meeting time to be fully Jesus-exalting and fully Jesus-centered), no matter what shape or form one's program may take. Dobson’s work is well worth considering and emulating. Here are his closing thoughts.

Dobson closes his presentation with a word of exhortation about what a Flight Club discipleship time should look like . . .

Be sure to allow plenty of time for this. Don’t make Fight Club a Bible Study. Share your lives; promote grace-driven fighting and faithful prayer. Be sensitive to one another. Very often, one of you will need more time to share than others. Defer to one another in love. Fight with and not against one another. Finally, be sure to share the names of people whom you are trying to bless with the gospel. Pray as a group asking God to help you trust his promises, as well as to give unbelievers the same gift of faith. [p. 50]

And finally, this excellent word of encouragement and motivation . . .

One day the fight will be over. Faith will become sight. Our image will be perfectly aligned with Christ’s image. Our affection for Christ will be so strong that it will be chief among ten thousand. All competitors for his attention will bow before him, and we will recover a childish yet mature delight that will never cease to thrill our souls. Every act will be a natural act of obedience sparked by joy. The warnings will fade and the promises will be fulfilled. Threats will no longer be necessary and rewards will abound. The Spirit will have full sway in our gladdened hearts as we live forever in Spirit-led worship. We will no longer treat one another as bullies or wimps, veering from legalism to license. The gospel will be central forever. Our conversions will be complete, our community characterized by love, and our mission colored in with worship. We will no longer know our sin, fight our sin, or struggle to trust our Savior. But until then, may God grant us his sovereign grace to fight the good fight of faith, for our joy and his eternal glory. [p. 51]

You can download the free PDF edition here >>

3 John 8
Bill H.

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