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 Renovare.org August 2022

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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