“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’” (Luke 9:23).
In my message yesterday to the Travis Avenue Baptist Church I challenged believers with the truth that following Jesus Christ is serious business. When Jesus set out the conditions by which we are to follow Him as disciples, He didn’t hold anything back. There’s no fine print. He’s straight up with us about the kind of life we are saved to live as disciples.
Our church’s Blueprint for Spiritual Formation reminds us of what the Bible teaches about our mission. We “join God in developing passionate followers of Jesus Christ.” Our sole purpose for existence as a church is to join God in what He is doing in this world, the main thing being the making of disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
(The Blueprint may be downloaded at http://www.travis.org/images/blueprint_brochure.pdf.)
What are the characteristics of a passionate follower of Jesus Christ? As we study the New Testament, particularly the Gospels, we get a clear picture of the kind of life Jesus had in mind for those who seriously followed Him. In the Blueprint we identify seven categories of spiritual formation that must take place in the life of a Christ-follower.
In Jesus’s twin mini-parables found in Luke 14:28-32, He teaches and warns us against what we might call “thoughtless discipleship.” As disciples of Jesus, we are to be as diligent and thoughtful about our spiritual development as we are about any other important area in our lives.
So I challenged our members and guests to read, pray and think carefully through the Blueprint for Spiritual Formation to discern which categories of discipleship where they most need growth. I promised that I would supply some resources to assist you in your development as a follower of Jesus Christ.
1. LEARN AND APPLY THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD.
How to Read the Bible for all Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart
The Essential Bible Companion by John H. Walton, Mark L. Strauss, and Ted Cooper Jr.
Read the Bible for Life by George H. Guthrie
Websites and Apps:
Bible Gateway – http://www.biblegateway.com/
GLO Bible App and Software – www.globible.com
Logos Bible App and Software – www.logos.com
Discipleship Journal “Helping you Grow in Christ” – www.discipleshipjournal.com
Faith Factor with Dr. Michael Dean – www.travis.org/faith-factor
Sunday Morning Bible Study for all ages
Various Men’s and Women’s Bible studies offered throughout the year
(Contact Kirk Wooldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
2. OBEY GOD AND DENY SELF.
Soul Shaping by Jim Wilson (spiritual disciplines)
A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller (prayer)
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (devotional)
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (spiritual disciplines)
3. SERVE GOD AND OTHERS.
The Volunteer Revolution by Bill Hybels
Your Spiritual Gifts by C. Peter Wagner
You Were Made for More by Jim Cymbala
To participate in a PLACE workshop or for information about church opportunities to serve contact Bernie Hargis at email@example.com .
For a list of volunteer opportunities in the community contact Doug McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To become involved in Travis’ community ministries contact Anthony Galata at email@example.com.
4. SHARE JESUS CHRIST WITH OTHERS.
Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels
Oikos by Tom Mercer
The Unexpected Adventure by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg
5. LIVE BY FAITH IN GOD.
Radical by David Platt
The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith
Mentoring 101 (Books 1-4) by Ron and Della Proctor – www.lifebuildersnet.org
Fresh Faith by Jim Cymbala and Dean Merrill
Crown Financial – Biblical principles of money management – www.crown.org
6. SEEK GOD IN WORSHIP.
The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Laurence
Return to Worship by Ron Owens
For information on opportunities for involvement in the worship ministries of our church contact John Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org .
7. BUILD CHRIST-CENTERED RELATIONSHIPS.
The Legacy Path by Brian Haynes
Spiritual Growth of Children by John Trent, Ph.D., and Rick Osborne, Kurt Bruner Editors
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (revised)
Connecting by Larry Crabb
Websites and Apps:
Focus on the Family – Helping Families Thrive – www.focusonthefamily.org
Couple Checkup – http://www.travis.org/resources/couple-checkup.html
For information on connecting with an A2C group (small groups for biblical fellowship) contact Kirk Wooldridge at email@example.com.
Note: If you would be interested in meeting periodically with a mentor to assist you in your growth as a follower of Jesus Christ please contact Kirk Wooldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org .