Thursday is for Discipleship
It’s A.D. 51 and a month or two months ago the Apostle Paul had planted the church in Thessalonica. Now he’s in Corinth and he pens 1 Thessalonians to encourage the saints there in their new faith in Christ. What this means is that when we look at 1 Thessalonians, we are looking at what Paul, master church planter and discipler of men wrote as new-believer follow-up.
Just that much suggests to me that an intensive, long-term study of 1 (and 2) Thessalonians would do wonders in changing our perspective on how to grow the saints in Christ. So, toward that end, here’s a couple of ideas to begin the process. In multiple readings answer the following questions:
- Make a list of all the things Paul refers to as having taught them in his three week church planting stop. How does your list compare to the typical new-believer followup in your church?
- How prominent is the second coming of Christ in the new believer follow-up of Paul?
- How important is affliction and suffering in Paul’s teaching? Do we teach new believers about suffering? Why not?
- How does Paul “raise the bar” of expectations on what it means to be a follower of Christ?
You’ll come up with your own questions but I believe that starting with something like these will give you a good feel for how to produce a discipleship process that is more productive in raising up the kind of disciples that the church needs in this age.