Radicalis Session 4: Radical Discipleship (Rick Warren)

Rick Warren spoke on Radical Discipleship in session 4 of Radicalis.

Here are some thoughts:

  • The single greatest problem in the church is the immaturity of believers
  • Healthy things grow
  • The question isn’t “how can my church grow?” but “what is keeping my church from growing?”
  • The goal of discipleship is to conform us to the image of Christ
  • Before you can have a mature church, you must eradicate the myths of maturity
  • You cannot measure maturity by attendance
  • You can go to church your entire life without growing up
  • It takes more than sermons to grow a church and grow disciples
  • One of the reasons people don’t grow is because they are going to too many meetings
  • Christians should be less stressed, more at peace, but that is rarely the case
  • The test of maturity is reproduction and how many people a church sends out
  • Bible knowledge does not equate to spiritual maturity
  • Real religion is public charity and private purity (James 1:26 – 27)
  • How do you know something is mature, when it bears fruit
  • Maturity does not mean perfection
  • A church does not have to be perfect in order to be a mature church
  • The goal of a church is not growth, but health and maturity
  • Focus on building people and God builds the church
  • Focus on training an army instead of attracting an audience is how you grow a church

Being a disciple means  I must first spend time with Jesus

  • We need to be talking to God constantly and continually, we have to be with Jesus (John 12:26)
  • Spiritual growth is a choice
  • If you don’t feel close to God, it is not because of God
  • It takes action to grow, it is not passive
  • Commitments force us to grow
  • If you are committed to everything means you are not committed to anything
  • Don’t turn the heat up too quickly when it comes to discipleship, it needs to be gradual
  • Spiritual growth is a relationship, you have to be with Jesus (Mark 3:14)

Being a disciple means I must love Jesus supremely

  • Luke 14:26
  • Spiritual maturity is measured by love

Being a disciple means I must love his church

  • If you say “I love Jesus but I don’t like the church” you are not a disciple, because when you love someone, you love them warts and all
  • Spiritual growth happens in community
  • You cannot follow Jesus by yourself
  • 1 John 3:16

Being a disciple means I must obey Jesus completely

  • Spiritual growth is an ongoing process, it is measured by obedience not knowlege, growth is based on God’s word, the result is that it leads to freedom (John 8:31 – 32)
  • To continue in the word you need a pathway and a process, you have to learn some habits (John 15:7 – 8)
  • Your character is the sum total of your habits
  • The result of spiritual habits are bearing fruit

Being a disciple means I must serve others unselfishly

  • To grow to maturity, we must understand where significance comes from, significance comes from serving
  • Tie discipleship to service
  • Spiritual growth requires exercise
  • Spiritual growth requires sacrifice

Being a disciple means I must pass on the good news

  • If you are not fishing, you aren’t following and you aren’t a disciple (Matthew 4:20)

8 laws of spiritual growth

  1. Spiritual growth is incarnational (Galatians 2:20), we grow by letting Christ live through us (1 Corinthians 3:6)
  2. Spiritual growth is intentional, not automatic or inevitable (Philippians 4:13)
  3. Spiritual growth is incremental, one little step at a time, it is not instant (2 Corinthians 3:18). Stages of growth are knowing Christ, loving, growing, serving, and sharing.
  4. Spiritual growth is personal, there is no such thing as a one size fits all discipleship, each person is different and grows differently (2 Corinthians 13:5).
  5. Spiritual growth is habitual, we grow by developing good habits, journal, write down scripture.
  6. Spiritual growth is relational (Hebrews 10:25). Small groups, mentoring, coaching.
  7. Spiritual growth is multi-purpose. Maturity is not measured by how much you know. You need discipleship, mission, service, outreach and worship.
  8. Spiritual growth is seasonal (Genesis 8:22), we grow in spurts. Nothing grows up and to the right, we grow in waves.

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