From the Renovaré Newsletter Archive

The selection below is from a January 2002 Renovaré newsletter. Download a PDF of the original newsletter.
Introductory Note:

Twenty years ago I wrote this article describing the work that Justin and I were doing at our local church. We called it Discipleship Evangelism. I concluded the article with a question, “Will you join this great adventure in the Kingdom?”

The work continues to be a grand adventure with God—heaven-initiated and heaven-led. We work under the authority of our pastor and with him and others. Some days are joy-filled and exciting. Other days are more of a long, slow, discouraging slough. To choose this way requires patience and endurance. We are learning to let God carry the burden.

Over the years we have observed that people are pulled in all directions. Many confuse active church participation with authentic discipleship to Jesus and limit their relationship with Jesus to the church campus. All are doing the best they can to flourish given what they have been taught but with little experience of the righteousness, peace, joy, and power that can be ours as we live under the reign of our great Triune God through discipleship to Jesus.

Yet, God is drawing people into a life of loving attentiveness and joy-filled obedience. He is doing this, and we are grateful to participate, counting on the abundant provision of grace. Over the twenty years we learned that as we cast the vision for a meaningful life with God, we need to include five essential elements in the gatherings: Worship, prayer, teaching, practice, and community.

Again I ask, “Will you join this great adventure in the Kingdom?”. I hope you say, “Yes!”

Margaret Campbell
August 2022

Discipleship Evangelism

For several years, my husband and I have pursued a ministry at our church that we have come to call Discipleship Evangelism, a name we adopted from Dallas Willard’s book The Divine Conspiracy. By Discipleship Evangelism we mean a ministry aimed at imparting to others the good news that life under the authority of God and in his power is available to disciples of Jesus, beginning now. We are learning as we go, and one of the most important things we have learned is that Discipleship Evangelism must be the fruit of our own discipleship to Jesus.

Who is a Disciple?

Who, then, is a disciple to Jesus? What does it mean to be a disciple to Jesus? A disciple of Jesus is a person who has decided to live in attentiveness to Jesus. We live in attentiveness in order to become like Jesus on the inside and, thereby, able to do what Jesus would do on the outside. As maturing disciples we progressively learn to live in attentiveness, adoration, surrender, obedience, and thankfulness to God, and all of this, without ceasing.

Through the hidden work of transformation, God writes his good way on our minds and hearts and this is very good. By his grace, our hearts are divinely changed. We are progressively conformed to be like Jesus in mind and will and soul and word and deed. What we say and what we do more consistently reflect the glory and goodness of God. Our lives work as God intends them to. The rightness of God’s good way becomes what we experience in our ordinary lives.

Learning from the Teacher

The kitchen, the freeways we drive, our offices and schools, hospitals and homes are where we meet the Father through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. These are the places where Jesus teaches us how to live our lives. These are the places where we seek God in attentiveness and adoration. These are the places where we learn to hear the still, small voice of God. And as he prompts, we are obedient and thankful. Those around us — whether family, friend, or stranger at the laundromat — see love, peace, and joy in us. Jesus is our Teacher and we are his students.

My husband and I are also learning that discipleship to Jesus and Discipleship Evangelism are best pursued within a community of like-minded people. We are part of a group that meets to discover, understand, and then put into practice what it really is to live as disciples of Jesus under the authority of God and in his power. Our expectation is that, by God’s grace, we will see ourselves, our families, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our friends, and even our enemies, being conformed to the likeness of Jesus. Then, too, we will see our church making disciples of the nations. Will you join this great adventure in the Kingdom?

To God alone be the glory,

Margaret Campbell

Image Credit: Baptism, c. 1490. Public Domain. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection.

Text First Published January 2002 · Last Featured on August 2022