Trumpets 1
Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                    September 29, 2008
The Mature Disciple of Jesus
My Reflections
Feast of Trumpets 2008
 NEW A Funny Intro to Rosh Hashanah Tradition to be watched with a grain of salt
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Around 2000 I became a little frustrated with the lack of literature on discipleship. No, it wasn't that the bible wasn't enough; it is enough. At the same time, I knew Christian authors/thinkers most often wrote about those things they were entirely passionate about (...and what sells has a little something to do with it, too).
Below is an excerpt from yours truly (as I look to fill the literature void). What's outlined is actually one quarter of a "Discipleship Matrix." The other three categories outlined are (1) Misguided "Christian," (2) Nominal "Christian," and (3) "Disciple of Jesus." The forth category, outlined below, is "Mature Disciple of Jesus."

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: What does a "mature" disciple of Jesus look like?
The Mature Disciple of Jesus 
Excerpt from A Theory of Communication and Cognition for Making Disciples by Traver Dougherty
Basin1) Primary life orientation centers on Jesus and his kingdom (e.g. Sermon on the Mount)
2) Sees the totality of his or her life as on mission with God, being sensitive to the Spirit's guiding
3) Social status unimportant, views social groupings missiologically and often seeks reconciliation
4) Primary allegiance to God's kingdom, not a human government (although appropriately submits to a human government)
5) Often suffers on account of Jesus and is willing to risk possible death and/or martyrdom
6) Sees value in Christian leadership, submits accordingly, and provides leadership when necessary

7) Adheres to Jesus' teachings and knows what those teachings (commands) are

8) Life is lived to the fullest when God's goals are attained via the disciple's life
9) Costly sacrifice is the norm, usually monetary
10) Deeply involved in Christian community, will not leave community unless directed by God
11) Relies on God for all needs continually and actually due to a perpetually sacrificial life
12) Is humble, considers others better than self, gives others the advantage
13) Genuinely loves an increasingly accurate understanding of God and demonstrates that love via obedience to Jesus's commands and intimate prayer
My Reflections
Jesus commanded us to "make disciples," so it stands to reason that we'd better know what one looks like (at least in broad strokes).
Although I know you're not perfect, here's a good question: Do the above thirteen qualities characterize your life? If not, why not? What needs to change? Remember, Paul the Apostle implores us, "...let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity..." (Heb 6:1).
I'd write more, but I think that's enough for this week. My friend, Neil Cole, is right; we westerners have a tendency to be educated beyond our obedience. So, as we continue to move forward as the church of Jesus Christ, fluidly, organically, let's be soberly reminded that the quality of the ecclesia is only as good as the disciples of which she is made.
Feast of Trumpets 2008
Rosh Hashanah
Just a quick reminder that tonight ushers in Rosh Hashanah, or Feast of Trumpets, the Hebrew new year. The believers with whom I regularly gather will celebrate tonight in anticipation of Jesus's return. Although space won't permit a thorough explanation, here are a few quick insights:
  • In the English language, the word "Law" is connotatively incorrect; Law is better translated instruction
  • The "Old Testament" (i.e., Torah) feasts are the "Lord's appointed feasts" [i.e., appointments], not "Jewish" feasts (see Lev 23)
  • Just as Jesus (the lamb) was slaughtered on the actual Passover, Jesus will return at the Feast of Trumpets, which, by the way, is celebrated over two days' time. So, when Jesus said, "No one knows about that day or hour..." a Jewish mind would have properly understood Jesus to mean on which of the two days, I do not know

So, in good Hebrew fashion, ketiva ve-chatima tovah, which means, "may you be written and sealed for a good year." Blessings!

Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table