"It feels like someone has just opened a fire hydrant and I’ve put my mouth over it and I’m trying to drink from it"….Does that pretty much sum up the beginning of term? The lazy days of Camp Yale are gone and now it’s papers, assignments, extracurricular activities and on and on and on.
Yet, in the midst of it all we hear Jesus say two things:
“Come, follow me” (Mark’s gospel)
“Go and make disciples” (Matthew’s gospel)
And we live in the tension between these statements. Yet I think, due to the very nature of life at Yale, our subconscious Christian practice becomes “How can I survive as a Christian at Yale this year?” Yet the passionate heart of the Chi Alpha campus pastors would be that you consider this question: “How can I thrive as a Christian at Yale this year?” That is, how do I live as a disciple of Jesus at Yale?
So, we are called to follow Jesus as a disciple but what does that mean? I think we’ve kind of lost our way on discipleship. When I survey modern Christianity discipleship looks like being really busy attending events, bible studies, etc. and in the midst of everything else trying to have some ‘quiet time.’ Permit me some license but I think both Jesus and Paul would be scratching their head at our practices.
So, what does biblical discipleship look like? When we consider the New Testament we can say this: it is an intimate endeavor within a discipling community.
What do we mean by that?
Well Jesus taught the masses but discipled the twelve. He taught them about God (their orthodoxy) but he also modeled how to live this new life (orthopraxy) and sent them out to do the same. This was all done in an intimate setting, often of twelve or even three. So we can see that biblically discipleship is an intimate endeavor but it’s also never a solo endeavor, nor is it often a peer to peer endeavor. Jesus and Paul were disciplers within their communities.
Ask yourself these questions:
If I wish to grow as a follower, or disciple of Jesus, within what setting is this taking place? Am I looking for a Sunday church message to be my main source of transformation? Great as it is, we see that’s not the main approach Jesus employed. Are you placing yourself in a more intimate setting such as a core group or in a one on one discipling relationship? Then we follow Jesus’ model and truly great transformation takes place.
Secondly, ask yourself this: Who is walking with me and is further down the journey of knowing Jesus? Friends and peers are good and important, yet once more we see from the life of Jesus and Paul that discipleship requires allowing someone to come alongside us who has walked the path longer than us.
This year, will you ‘survive’ as a Christian at Yale, or, within the context of Chi Alpha, will you thrive?