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Discipleship is the making of disciples. It is the effort and the intention of a teacher to reproduce himself in the life of his student by helping him or her to become like him in the ultimate. In Jesus day, the world and the concept of disciple making was not alien to the practice of the Jewish Religion and the Torah. The Rabbis of Jesus' time also had disciples. [Aramaic: Talmidim], and in Greek Mathetai]. On the surface there appears to be very little difference between the disciples of the rabbis and those of Jesus. In both cases, a disciple is attached to a particular teacher. In substance however, the two are fundamentally different! A closer consideration of the difference has to do with the evangelist's understanding and interpretation of Jesus' mission.

Therefore, in principal, we cannot separate the call to discipleship from mission. The calling of the disciples is a call to follow Jesus and being set aside for missionary activity. Calling, discipleship, and mission belong together. This urgency was not just for the first disciples whom Jesus called but also for those who would respond to his call after Easter experience – what is the significance of Jesus having gathered together a band of disciples and how does this inform our call to discipleship.

1. The call to discipleship demands a loving response to the call of the Lord 'follow me'. There is no compromise or reservation to the one who is called. Those called leave everything. This is exemplified in the experience of Levi [Matthew 9:9] and others who left their collector's booth and their boats respectively. The call to discipleship is a call to embrace the reign of God through which repentance and believing are made possible by God's grace.

2. In the Jewish set-up, it was the torah which stood at the center. The disciples approached the Rabbi based on the knowledge of the law. Jesus's discipleship is a call to embrace him not on account of the law but because of his sake alone. He expects his disciples to renounce everything not for the sake of the law but for is sake. He who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me……… and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me …. and he who loses his life for my sake will find it” Matthew 10:38].

3. In Judaism discipleship is a means to an end. Disciples looked forward to when they would become teachers hemselves. It was a journey toward a promising career. The disciples of Jesus never graduate into becoming rabbi. It is the fulfillment of their destiny. Many are called to become witnesses to the resurrection.

4. The rabbinic disciples were only students nothing more. The disciples of Jesus are also his servants. They not only bow to his greater knowledge, they obey Him. He is not only their teacher, He is also their Lord. A Student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master Matthew 10: 24.

Why the Call to Discipleship?
Mark puts it very clear that first and foremost, they were called to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark 3: 14. It means the disciples walk with him, eat and drink with him, listen to what he does. They are invited as companions to share in what takes place around Jesus. They are called not to attach impatience to themselves and what they accomplish or fail to accomplish. They are called to delegate their cares and worries to him  “I will be with you to the end of the age”. Discipleship therefore has its beginning and end in Jesus Christ.

In conclusion the call to discipleship is an invitation to participate in God's reign on earth in obedience to the call of the Lord to make disciples. The teaching and baptizing people in his name are subordinate to the process of making the witnesses to his Lordship. The resurrection experience of the first disciples create in them the urgency to proclaim his reign. This remaining the urgent call of the Church to move and graduate people from followers off Jesus to His disciples. Our consolation is the abiding presence of the Lord as we accompany him in accomplishing his mission. This is our call.



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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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