What Does Discipleship Look Like (Part 2)?

THANK YOU! Because of you, our church was able to bless the students, parents, teachers, and staff of Royston Elementary School this past Tuesday at their Open House. We gave out 500 snow cones, handed out 200 flyers for our Movie on the Lawn (tonight at 7:30 PM), and talked with so many families preparing for a new school year. THANK YOU! Because of you, our church was able to feed the teachers at Royston Elementary this past Thursday. Some of the women in our church prepared a wonderful meal and delivered it to the teachers on their final day before students arrived. THANK YOU! Because of you, our preschool hosted their Open House this past Tuesday. Parents and their students were able to meet their new teacher and Lois Hylton has done a wonderful job preparing for another amazing school year. Because of your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness, Royston First UMC is a church that is “making disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus,” and I am excited to be your pastor and want to say THANK YOU for what you do to make this a great church and a blessing in our community!

This Sunday, we will continue our Community message series. As we prepare for worship this Sunday, I want to ask you this question, what does discipleship look like? Last week, I told you there were five keys to discipleship. The first one I mentioned last week was that disciples offer themselves to God in a spiritual act of worship. The second key to discipleship is that disciples are intentional about sharing their faith and making disciples (that make disciples that make disciples). A few months ago, I read book titled 8 to 15: The World is Smaller Than You Think. In this book, Tom Mercer talks about the idea explains that all of us have what is called an Oikos, or an extended household – a group of eight to fifteen people with whom we share life most closely, our sphere of greatest influence. Mercer further explains that our oikos is the most natural and common environment for evangelism to occur.

As you think about the people in your life, who would be in your oikos? They might be relatives, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, or others we encounter on a regular basis. The idea of oikocentric evangelism is that we focus on sharing our faith with those 8-15 people in our oikos – not by fancy techniques or strategies, but through being who we are and being a witness to our faith. Mercer offers five steps to help identify your oikos:

  • 1) Make a LISTThere is intentionality involved in this first step. We have to identify those people in our oikos, or else we will not follow through on the rest.
  • 2) PRAY everyday for your oikos. Pray that each person would sense God’s presence and pray that God would provide you an opportunity to share your faith.
  • 3) INVEST time and resources to develop those relationships. An invitation to faith will not go far if an investment in a relationship has not been made.
  • 4) INVITE them to church regularly. It should be a gracious invitation – we are not here to judge people on why they do not attend church.
  • 5) PREPARE to both clearly display God’s character and defend your faith in Jesus.Prepare to become a better example of faith in Christ and a more effective witness of grace.

Who are the people in your oikos? How are you actively sharing your faith with those people? I hope you will think about these questions as we continue to live into our mission of “making disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus.”

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you and your oikos in worship this Sunday!

Grace and peace,

P.S. Don’t forget about our MOVIE ON THE LAWN tonight at 7:30 PM. We will be watching The Incredibles, and there will be free popcorn (courtesy of Dill’s Food City) and free popsicles. As I mentioned earlier, we cast a big net earlier this week, and we are hoping for a large turnout. In the event of rain, we will watch the movie in the gym.