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What Is Discipleship?

by Rev. Amy Shoemaker


Since our Congregational Retreat, I have been meditating on the word "Discipleship" and what it means for me personally.

I was raised in an environment where we were encouraged to see Jesus as a role model and imitate him in our own lives. Remember those W.W.J.D. bracelets of the 1990s? That question "What would Jesus do?" was both a serious question and a joke among my peers. We wore the bracelets seriously at church, and ironically at school. In my youth, I thought discipleship was behaving like Jesus behaved.

My understanding has grown since then. To be a disciple, a follower or student of Jesus, means constantly nurturing the presence of Spirit in my body, mind, heart, and spirit. While it is a good place to start, behaving a certain way isn't all there is to it. Discipleship asks us to break down all the destructive patterns we acquire from our world and embody the qualities we find in the Divine: love, peace, compassion, empathy, justice, etc.

What helps you grow in your spirituality? Mediation? Time in nature? Conversation about your spirituality? Service to others? Artmaking?

Our responsibility as a community of disciples is to support one another to grow. We can't support each other if we don't know what support we all need. Are there activities that we could engage in together that would support your growth?

This will be the central theme of our discussion in worship. I sincerely hope you'll join me there.