Missional Discipleship featuring Eric Mason

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In this 42 minute session from the 2012 RightNow Conference, Eric Mason, Lead Pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, talks about missional discipleship—applying the truth of the gospel to every area of life. He answers questions like: Why is this type of life important? What does missional discipleship look like? Where does Scripture speak on this issue?

First, listen to Jay Robertson, President of Child’s Play, Inc., explain how his faith called him to start the playground charity, Playgrounds with a Purpose. Partnering with others, he built a playground in an urban neighborhood in Philadelphia connected to Epiphany Fellowship.

As Eric Mason pointed out, the partnering of Child's Play with Epiphany Fellowship to build a playground was an excellent way to show the glory of Christ by showing love to their neighbors in caring for basic needs beyond just getting them into church. How are we called to build common ground to engage people in the gospel?

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your own life and ministry.

Eric Mason acknowledged that the word "missional" is overused and sometimes misunderstood. What does "missional" mean to you? Did anything Eric say cause you to think differently or more clearly about the term?
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Eric explained that discipleship is our constant apprenticeship to look more like Jesus.  He talked about a number of obstacles to making disciples.
  • Unhealthy Individuality
  • Renegade Philosophy of Life
  • Discipleship Idolatry
  • Unhealthy Expectations of Disciplers
  • Unclear Definition of Discipleship

How do you/your church "make disciples"? Are any of these obstacles evident? How do you overcome them?
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Eric mentioned that there is a definite problem when leaders/disciplers give people what they want in programs or teaching rather than giving people what they need to become more like Jesus. Is there anything in your process that makes people consumers rather than disciples? Are they chewing and digesting God's Word? Is it evident in every part of their lives? What needs to change?
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Eric said that there is no such thing as a balanced life; there will always be tension between loving God, loving the Church, and loving the world. What do you think of that statement? Where do you see the struggle happen in the people you lead? Where is it most difficult in your own life?
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Christ-centered spirituality is spirituality that centers on the person of Christ, not the church or pastor. People should "gather" in the church to then "scatter" as ambassadors into the world. Are your people gathered and scattered? How are you equipping and unleashing them?
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Read John 15, 2 Peter 1, and Galatians 5:22–24. Eric explained the anatomy of what a disciple looks like is a continuous cycle of renewal and it happens from the inside out.
  • abide
  • bear fruit
  • love
  • rep (represent the reign of Christ in the world)

What does that cycle of renewal look like in your own life? How are you leading others in a complete cycle of renewal?
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Eric gave a list of the important parts of spiritual formation.
  • Regeneration (born again)
  • Prayer
  • Biblical Assimilation
  • Redemptive Community
  • Biblical Theology
  • Transformation
  • Discernment
  • Application
  • Reproduction

Are all of these a part of your own life? How are these highlighted for the people you lead?
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Discipleship definedOne who has renounced him or herself and pledged their life to being in a lifelong apprenticeship to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Of all the ways the how discipleship happens—from the pulpit, in the classroom, to the family, in a ministry team—it is one-on-one that is most modeled and effective.

For information about the upcoming RightNow Conference, go to RightNowConferences.org.