The mission of every church is defined for us in "Matthew 28:19-20", Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Unfortunately it is much easier to create “Christians” as defined by society rather than “Disciples” as defined by the Bible. As David Murrow puts it in his book Why Men Hate Going to Church, “Today’s evangelical church has discarded the discipleship model in favor of an academic model.” To a large degree he is correct. In many of our churches, we have associated discipleship with attendance in courses and programs in which one gains more information about the Bible. If you make it through enough of these courses and your doctrine becomes “right” enough, then you automatically will become a fully devoted follower of Christ.
But the academic model has failed us. According to Greg Ogden in his book Transforming Discipleship the academic model has produced superficial disciples. “There appears to be a general lack of comprehension among many who claim Jesus as Savior as to the implications of following him as Lord.” There are more books about Jesus, more resources for Christians, and yet there appear to be fewer people devoted to following Him than there have ever been.
But there is hope, and it’s found in the Word of God. Although the Bible doesn’t clearly define what a “Christian” looks like, it is very clear as to what a “Disciple” looks like, and if we are going to accomplish the Great Commission’s command to make disciples, we must begin with defining what a disciple looks like.
What Jesus Says a Disciple Is
In John 8:31b Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” In other words, if we can somehow figure out what Jesus commands us to do, and then follow those commands, then we are at least moving in the right direction. There is a certain amount of learning that goes into discipleship, but it isn’t simply learning for the sake of knowledge; it is learning that is followed by some action. If we could only discern what Jesus has commanded us to do...
Matthew 22:36-40 may help us out in this regard. In this text an expert in the law came to Jesus and asked, “’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”
Very simply put, Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love people, and if we are willing to obey his commandments then we are truly his disciples.
Jesus would even tell us that our love will be the measuring rod by which the world will be able to see our Christ-likeness (John 13:34-35)
If being a disciple means loving God and loving people, then the discipleship model of the church should place people in environments in which they can obey Jesus’ commandments. It is out of this strong belief that our strategy is formed.
Crosswind Church seeks to create safe environments in which believers can express their love of God through worship, engage in authentic Christian community, and show the love of Christ to the world.
Crosswind seeks to create environments in which people can express their love of God through corporate worship while also encouraging and providing resources for Christians to engage with God privately.
Crosswind seeks to create environments in which people can experience authentic Christian community. There are two things you cannot do alone, one is be married, and the other is being a Christian. By providing environments in which people can study the Bible together, pray together and eat together, we pray that a community will form in which believers can encourage, reprimand, discipline, love, confront, cry with, and rejoice with one another.
Crosswind seeks to create environments in which Disciples of Christ can engage in ministry opportunities both inside the walls of our church and around the world. We are bearers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have a responsibility to show the same love and grace that Christ so freely showed us.
Once a Christian enters into Crosswind Church, they find themselves engaged in the process of becoming a disciple. And although you can be a part of all three of these areas and not grow in your relationship with God, we feel that it is impossible to grow in your relationship with God and not be a part of these three areas.
At Crosswind, discipleship isn’t about programs, its about a journey that bring you into a vibrant walk with Jesus Christ.
If you have questions about our discipleship process at Crosswind, or would like to speak with a pastor, please contact the church office.