By Travis Ryan – Parramatta Baptist Church
In answer to the usual question “how long have you been coming here?” asked at a recent membership night, one of our young adults proudly proclaimed “I think about seven months.” With joy and a touch of amazement someone immediately responded “Far out! Isn’t it amazing how God has transformed you in those seven months?!”
It was an appropriate response: it is amazing. Seven months ago this seventeen year old young woman had no relationship with God nor ever been into a church. Fast forward seven months and here she was now: believing, baptised, walking in truth, fully participating in the life of our church and marking that by becoming a member.
It has been an incredible journey for this young lady as her peers have included her in their community, invited her to their parties and shared their personal faith experience with her. As people in their twenties have shown an interest in her, asked her how she is going and continued to pray with and for her. As people in their thirties have taken her through Christianity explored, answered her questions and led her through the waters of baptism. As someone in their forties has prayed a prayer of commitment with her and gifted Christian reading to her. As a couple in their fifties has taken her under their wing, inviting her to join them for weekly family dinners as they share their love of Jesus with her.
This is a case study of intentional, everyday discipleship at its very best. It has been exciting to be a part of it. It has been deeply encouraging to witness her transformation, and it causes me to desire more of the same in ever-increasing measure.
Can you imagine what it could look like across our churches to see this story multiplied out over and over and over again? A movement of discipleship rising up across our churches that sees lives transformed by the power of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God!
The Strategic Priorities adopted by our Assembly desires this very thing. Strategic Priority Three states plainly our priority to: encourage and support the development of a disciple-making culture across all generations throughout our Association.
An action group for discipleship has now formed and begun to meet regularly to implement this strategic priority. We invite you to join with us in praying for a movement of discipleship and disciple-making in all our churches, and most importantly, to personally join us in being shaped and formed as disciples of Jesus who leads others to do the same.