Changed lives change cities

A great post by Alan Scott that looks at the temptation to break discipleship down into something that is manageable rather than missional. He urges the reader to move away from thinking of discipleship being primarily about personal piety and personal spiritual discipline to something that is expressed and learned through living an outward life of faith that changes the city in which you live. Individual discipleship through 1:1 discussions in coffee shops is “too low a goal”, with real discipleship taking place through the sharing of life and mission.

This is a really helpful distinction that highlights the continual need to orientate church communities around the task of reproducing the life of Jesus. Our vision for seeing our communities changed by the love of Jesus should be expansive and not reductionist. Time and time again we see the Apostle Paul involving people in mission.

[He] didn’t disciple people by staying with them, but rather by taking them with him. Together they engaged with the improbable possibility that whole communities and cities might respond openly and wholeheartedly to the message of the kingdom.

Alan issues a challenge here for leaders to

measure the level of discipleship in the church by the level of transformation in the city.

If discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you, I’m pretty sure that he would be changing cities. As we see our own lives becoming more and more like Jesus, we will also see our cities changed.