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Generational Discipleship

By Pastor Chad

What does it take to train and cultivate healthy and mature Christ-followers? What are some important keys to effective spiritual growth? What methods are essential to transformational discipleship? 

In 2011, Lifeway conducted one of the largest research projects to investigate those questions and more. I will summarize three essential elements that are necessary to transformational and effective discipleship. I take it that these keys are imperative for proper, true discipleship. In other words, if these three methods are not implemented into a ministry, discipleship will not take place. 

The first key to transformational discipleship is strong Biblical teaching and training. Let’s just be honest: If people (whether children, youth, or adults) are not taught the Scriptures, discipleship will not happen. Paul tells Timothy in 2 Tim. 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Though knowing Scripture isn’t the only exercise needed for transformational discipleship, it is a vital one. A ministry that is not focused on properly teaching and instructing in Scripture is no real ministry at all. In order to see children, youth, and adults form into disciples that are fitting for the calling of the Lord, instruction in God’s Word must be a key component.   

A second important key is participation in ministry, whether through service, evangelism, or missions. In other words, it is important that those being discipled live out the gospel mission. The gospel is planted and rooted through Scriptural preaching and teaching, but discipleship comes alive when one puts gospel work into practice. The gospel message is not meant to be put in a box and locked away. It is something that must be intentionally spread and shared through word and deed.     

The last important key to transformational discipleship is healthy, strong relationships with more mature believers. Discipleship is just one mature believer helping another believer grow in the Lord. The discipler points the discipled to Scripture and serves as an example of one’s love for the Lord and His Kingdom. The Christian life is not meant to be a solo venture. It is one that is fueled by the Spirit and encouraged by other believers.   

If Cedar Heights is looking to be a place where people can know God and grow closer to Him, then we must be a place that focuses on these three transformational keys. Furthermore, in order for you to experience a transformational discipleship, you must take advantage of the opportunities available at the church. You must go to church. You must listen to the teaching and preaching. You must volunteer to serve. You must engage with other believers and walk with them in the Lord. We certainly have room for improvement, but Cedar Heights provides key ingredients for a thriving spiritual walk. But these elements must be integrated into your weekly life. For example, ministry groups do little good for those that avoid them. Ministry opportunities (such as the Ice Cream Social) offer no discipleship benefit to you if you are not engaged in the work. 

So here is my encouragement to you: Get to work! Become involved in all that Cedar Heights has to offer so that your spiritual life may benefit and the Kingdom may grow.    

To hear the full sermon, click here.


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