This is part 5 of an ongoing series walking through the revitalizing process, thus far, of Cypress Lake Baptist church. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.
I have to constantly remind myself that Jesus said He would build His church. I have to constantly remind myself that He does this through His disciples seeking to make disciples of all nations. I have to do this by defining what a disciple is and how one goes about making disciples. While certainly missions, outreach, and evangelism are part of the Great Commission, I think often times we neglect the importance of teaching Christ-followers to obey all that Christ has commanded.
When I first arrived at CLBC I wanted to make sure that we had disciples. I defined this simply by saying that I wanted to make sure that we were devoted followers of Christ who sought to make other devoted followers of Christ. I decided to do this by investing in a few men. I wasn't exactly sure who that would be when I first came, but I did want it to be men who had respect and support from the church. My decision was to first look at the deacons. I had several friends point me in this direction, and at this point it has been very good and beneficial for us.
Our deacon chairman is also a Sunday School teacher and one who is able to think through doctrine and Scriptures well. After talking with him for several months I asked him if anyone had ever walked with him and mentored him in his faith. They had not. I asked him if I could. He was overjoyed with the possibility. Not knowing exactly where he was we started with a book, Living the Cross-Centered Life, but by the end of this I could tell he wanted to be challenged more. We moved on from there to The Deliberate Church. This was good, but I could tell that he still wanted more. At this time we are reading Bible Doctrine together. While we are still early in our reading I think it will benefit him greatly to have doctrinal categories to help him in his walk with the Lord. Beyond the reading, however, we have also opened up to one another and prayed for one another. He has seen and heard many of my own personal struggles and I have his as well. This has been greatly beneficial for me (and I believe him).
In the meantime I had two other deacons who wanted to grow in the Lord through Scripture reading. We decided to meet weekly and work through the book of Galatians together. This was great! We met once a week, had breakfast, read a portion of Scripture together, and thought through ways to apply this in our context.
This, I truly believe, has been huge for us. It's been huge not because of what I've done, but because it has caused us to focus on Christ. It has caused us to realize the importance of truth found in the Scriptures and to make decisions based on these things. It has also allowed us to know one another better so that we can stand together. It has also allowed these men to know me better, which means they are able to tell me to slow down, speed up, stop, or something else. And with a group united together on the gospel of Jesus and the Word of God we have been able to move forward in some pretty remarkable ways.
We're not there yet. We have a long ways to go. But it has been good to spend time with these men. My long-term hope is that they will begin mentoring others and I will as well. By God's grace I hope to see this become part of who we are as a church. I pray that we will take seriously the command to make disciples of those to whom the Lord has allowed us to fellowship with.