At Callander Bay Church, our desire is to be followers of Christ or disciples who make disciples. Most of the time when we want to accomplish something in the church, we make a program to try and move people in that direction. The Way of Jesus is so much more than just a program, it is a way of living. It will have some programmatic pieces but generally it is more about relationships and letting the life of Christ flow through you.
The President of our denomination wrote the following article which sums up some of the key principles:
At the end of the day, I, as a follower of Jesus must own my responsibility for my journey with My Master: ‘I am a follower of Jesus. Irrespective of what anyone else may do or say, I own MY journey in following Jesus. I am responsible. I also value being part of a community on mission, in which WE are helping each other and others on the Way. Yet, I am ultimately responsible for my own journey.'
Our EMCC national team has been the crucible for the development of guiding statements that empower the follower of Jesus. Here is the 7-fold way of Following Jesus.
The seven statements are stated in the first person, ‘I'. It is about ME following Jesus, Not about what somebody else tells me to do or does for me. The 7-fold Statement is about the ongoing journey. No one has arrived! And everyone can start, or restart. It is a journey. And He is still leading, and I must follow.
It is the responsibility of parents to raise and teach their children, and it is the responsibility of a follower of Jesus to invite and help others to begin that journey too. As parents we appreciate the support of school and church but we must not let either supplant us as parents. As a follower of Jesus I appreciate the support of the community of Christ, the Church, but I cannot let the Church supplant my following after Jesus. And I cannot let the Church supplant my responsibility and my privilege of inviting others to begin that journey with Jesus. There is no ‘program' that is as powerful and as attractive as Christ in me and Christ in us the hope of glory. The Kingdom (the rule) of Christ becomes tangible when we simply bless (serve) others for His sake – humbly bringing good into His world. We know that God is already at work in the lives of others and so we simply join Him ‘out there.' Jesus is sending me to bringing blessing into the lives of others for His sake.
The Church, the community of followers of Jesus, as the Bride of Christ, has the joy of pointing away from herself and to Jesus – ‘Follow Him'! We can do and say a thing in a way that either disempowers or empowers. What we do corporately as the Church must always convey the message to a follower of Jesus, ‘You can do it. We are just all on the same journey and we are offering a little help along the way. You follow Him, and we will, too.' Phil Delsaut