Forward Today: Cultures of discipleship

In this week’s edition of our weekly Wednesday newsletter, Scott reflects on St. Luke the Evangelist, whose feast day we fittingly celebrate today, at the close of Discipleship Matters.

Dear friends in Christ,


As you receive this, we are finishing up the Discipleship Matters conference in Philadelphia. Lay leaders, clergy, and church members from across the country have gathered to focus on how we might create cultures of discipleship in our congregations. In other words, how do we move past maintenance into mission, from preservation into formation, from status quo into transformation. How do we make sure our churches are first and foremost about Jesus?
I hope you’ll hear more in the coming days about what we have shared and learned. As I write this, I am struck by the example of St. Luke the Evangelist. We know more about him from tradition than history, but scholars do agree that he wrote Luke and Acts, a one-two bunch of transformational witness to the power of God the Father working in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.


Our faith today is strengthened because St. Luke knew his story – and God’s story – and passed it on. Our journey as disciples is strengthened because St. Luke shared the story of Jesus’ teaching and ministry. St. Luke captured the story of the Holy Spirit’s power in the early churches.
Maybe discipleship and evangelism are not complicated after all. Maybe it’s hard work, but very simple work. We know quite a bit about how to follow Jesus from reading the Gospels. We know that it’s anything but easy, but it also brings a joy that cannot be surpassed. We know how to grow the church: we need to share the Good News of God in Christ in both word and deed. Again, this isn’t complicated, but it takes a serious commitment.
Do you know God’s story and how it shapes your story? Do you have a story to tell? Has Jesus changed your life in a compelling way?
Let us all draw inspiration from the witness of St. Luke.
Yours faithfully, 
Scott Gunn
Executive Director


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Today’s Wednesday sale item is What Are You Waiting For, Christine McSpadden’s collection of Advent meditations on the theme of waiting. Just $3.75, today only!