A disciple is a person who actively engages with Jesus in a life-long journey
of loving, following, and serving God in every area of life
Just over two years ago, Calvary Church was blessed to enter into a new denominational connection as we were received into ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Two things attracted us to ECO. The first was a solid theological foundation built upon the scriptures and the best of our Reformed tradition. Second, and equally important, was that ECO’s mission is simple and focused: “to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.” Over the past two years, the leadership of Calvary Church has been at work in seeking how we are best to do that in our context.
In early 2017, elders and staff worked through a resource produced by ECO — “Becoming A Flourishing Church”. Through a process of self-assessment and spiritual discernment, we determined that God was calling Calvary to invest energy and resources in an intentional focus on discipleship. Discipleship is much more than just knowing information or doing church-stuff. It is a practice of ongoing, life-long transformation, through which we are conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.
Since last March, a group of leaders has been working through ECO’s “Flourishing Disciples” resource — a process intended to help us grow in our own discipleship, learn to disciple others, and to establish a disciple-making culture in the church has a whole. Part of that process involves developing a plan by which discipleship and disciple-making will, over time, become the very core of who we are as a church.
The Flourishing Disciples Team has established three goals to start us on this path. First was to develop a working definition of a disciple. Second, begin to develop “pathways” through which we can grow as disciples. And third, develop means to evaluate existing and future programming and practices to measure how well they contribute to growth and making disciples.
A group spent time this summer in the scriptures, prayer, and discernment, developing the definition in the heading of this page. This was shaped over time and ultimately shared with the Flourishing Disciples Team and the elders who enthusiastically concurred. The definition is now posted on the wall in the sanctuary, and was the focus of several sermons in September.
What happens now?
A sub-group from the Flourishing Disciples Team is meeting to consider the factors necessary to develop a person into this kind of disciple. What we discover will help us to shape the life and program of Calvary Church such that all we do—be it worship, education, or service—will encourage us to grow as disciples of Jesus.
Please be in prayer for the Flourishing Disciples Team, the staff, and Session that we may discern and implement changes that will help us to grow as a flourishing congregation which intentionally makes disciples of Jesus Christ.
Grace & Peace,