Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Discipleship - the answer to the Church's prayers?

An interesting discussion relating to how the salvation of the Church is to be found in 'discipleship' has challenged me because whilst I don't disagree with what the words might mean - I do struggle with the attitude that looks at people doing because they have to rather than them doing because they have the desire - and that this desire comes about through an emerging spiritual identity and  consistent, prayerful and holistic spirituality.

A recent conversation with a number of clergy colleagues brought into the clear a consensus view that the numbers of those who came and were happy merely to attend church on a fairly regular basis but were put off by being asked to become involved. As one person put it, 'No matter what we do, we can't get them to do anything - they are content to just come and be served!'

And so I walk a tightrope that sees me working to help people find their identity with, and in, God through Christ and to come to that place of initial stillness that leads them into a place of increasingly secure, and enabling, Christian spirituality which cements the forgiveness and acceptance of the cross and, in combination with teaching, and unfolding of the words within, leads them to a place whereby their baptismal (and other) calling can be made real: and from here the life, and Church, enabling that is being a true disciple can be manifest.

Discipleship is a lifestyle choice and act, not something that can be imposed or demanded and it is our role to sow the seeds and nurture them in those we are called to pastor - this is our mission and our joy, for surely it is the Missio Dei - to engender in self, and others, the heartbeat of Christ and the becoming like Him in heart, mind and (of course) action.


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