The gospel is…
Very often how we complete that statement fails to include the words (or even words that convey the realities) that were so central to the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus – those of discipleship and Kingdom.
Part of the reason for that oversight perhaps has to do with how our theological vision has been eclipsed or even co-opted by historical and cultural influences that the Church has failed to recognize or has received all too uncritically. But there may be yet another reason that these themes fail to take center stage when we attempt to define or proclaim the gospel. The reason is that, as church leaders, we simply may lack a vision for what it would mean to lead people into life in the Kingdom of God as disciples – those who are learning from Jesus how to live their lives as he would live them if he was in their shoes.
So here’s the question…
As you think about and convey “the gospel,” are discipleship and kingdom core to your understanding?
- If so, how, in terms of your own spiritual formation (and training) were those realities passed on to you?
- If not, why do you suppose that might be?
- As a church leader, how do the realities of kingdom and discipleship inform and shape your teaching and work?
The re-centering of discipleship and kingdom in how we understand and communicate the gospel message of Jesus is vital to the faithful witness of the Church in the world. Check out the workshop below in which Todd Hunter (Founding Bishop of the Diocese of Church for the Sake of Others and Founding/Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Costa Mesa, CA) and Keith Matthews (Professor of Spiritual Formation & Contemporary Culture at Azusa Pacific University) offer presentations and facilitate discussion around these important issues.
If the gospel is an invitation to life in the Kingdom of God, then discipleship is the orientation or arrangement of living with Christ and His Kingdom in the power of the Spirit. The workshop will explore this calling of Christ to follow him in mission and become like him in character and action, embodying and witnessing to life in the Kingdom of God. We will also ask what such a calling means for how we understand the nature and practice of Kingdom-oriented leadership.
The audio download of this workshop is available HERE and is available for free all day today, 9/30/13 (discount automatically applied when you add the workshop to your cart).