the weblog of Alan Knox

Another Saturday Night…

Posted by on Apr 1, 2007 in discipleship, gathering | 6 comments

(10 points to the first person who can name three artists who recorded this song. Bonus points: why does the part of the song that follows “Another Saturday night” not fit what I am describing in this post?)

After a one week hiatus (because my parents visited last weekend), we hosted another “get together” at our house Saturday night. (See the posts “Fellowship of Faith…” and “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night…” for a description of what I am talking about.) Several families from the previous weeks returned, and one new couple joined us. We’ve tried to invite new people each week so far.

We talked about several things this time. One couple talked about their upcoming move to the San Francisco area. I’m still in semi-denial concerning this move. Most of our time was spent talking about discipleship.

One of our brothers shared about the man who shared the gospel with him. Once my friend believed in Christ, this man did not consider his responsibility complete. He also help my friend learn what it meant to follow Christ. He did this by teaching, and also by sharing his life with my friend. In fact, my friend even lived with this man and his family for a short period. My friend learned that his mentor was not perfect, but that when he sinned, he was genuinely repentant, much like David when he was confronted by Nathan in the Old Testament.

Unfortunately, this experience was rare in our group – only one other person. Many of us had not been discipled like that. As one brother said, he always thought discipleship was just about tranferring information from one person to another.

We also talked about some of the difficulties in discipleship. Some of the things mentioned included thinking you did not know enough Scripture to disciple someone, thinking there are others who would be better disciplers, thinking that you are learning more from the one you are discipling, and not wanting to be transparent and share your failures.

We talked about this last one for some time. What happens when we are not transparent with the people that we disciple? We thought of three things: 1) we quench the Holy Spirit, 2) we lie to the one being discipled and ourselves, and 3) we set ourselves up as superior to the one being discipled (who may think that he or she cannot be as good as the discipler). The one being discipled will not learn what it means to fail and repent. Perhaps, we miss a major opportunity to teach about God’s grace and forgiveness.

I asked my wife what was most encouraging to her tonight. She said she was encouraged that the new couple allowed her to take care of their baby for a while. I think this encouraged them as well. My wife has a great servant’s heart.

We didn’t solve any theological disputes. We didn’t witness any miracles. We didn’t even sing a song. But, we did see God work through people as we interacted with one another. And, my brothers and sisters gave me much to think about when it comes to discipleship.


6 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-1-2007

    Yay – I’m first … Another Saturday night was performed by Sam Cooke, Cat Stevens and Jimmy Buffet :) ……. am I needng to get free from the bondage of competition & performance or what?! You’re not helping any! he he …

    Now off to read your post ;) … perhaps I can get some bonus points!

  2. 4-1-2007

    Duh! It’s early here :) “Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody …”

    …I’m sure, before reading this post, that you’ll be sharing another one of your wonderful Saturday evenings of fellowshipping with fellow believers … off to read the post now :)

    p.s. are you saving up my points? What do I get again? :)

  3. 4-1-2007

    Okay … 3 comments in a row – I really need to get a life ;) LOL … I do need to get going this morning …..

    Seriously, it sounds great. I am reminded that I was able to disciple a friend one time similar to what you talked about. I’ve talked about it before on here. She was my next door neighbor and we shared as much life as next door neighbors can share. And as I have said before, I am now so blessed when I talk to her (we live about 30 minutes apart now) and she challenges me with things that she says to me. That is awesome.

    Alan, I long for this kind of fellowship with other believers. Right now being in a transition is difficult. As Brandon wrote on his blog last night – it sometimes feels like I’m turning my back on the church. But I know down deep in my soul that I’m not. I just finished the book I’m reading last night and it’s challenging. The great things about all this is the desire I have to simply know HIM more!

    Blessings! And please don’t stop sharing …

    ~Heather

  4. 4-1-2007

    I wonder if the concept of discipleship that sees it as simply transferring information or knowledge arises from the view of our faith as Scripture alone being the voice of God in our lives. If it is something concrete that we can see and “know” then all we have to do is learn that, speak it, transfer it, etc. It is just information to master and know. If only we were just to walk by sight…

  5. 4-1-2007

    Bryan,
    I could not agree more. It seems that we have limited our experience of walking by faith. It is easier to hold on to something tangible than to listen to the voice of the Spirit.

    I was having a conversation with friends recently about what “parameters” we needed to have in place since it seemed more people were wanting to “join” our fellowship. We were thinking of all of the potential problems that could arise and wanted to prevent them from occurring as much as possible. After much discussion it finally hit me that what I was doing was failing to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us moment by moment. It occurred to me that the main difference between where we were at in our “simple church” and any traditional/institutional church was that they had come up with answers to all of these questions ahead of time and we had not. By formulating answers it seemed that we would lessen the need for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Also, instead of coming up with “pat” answers that apply to every situation, being led by the Spirit allows us to be “fine-tuned” to what the Father wants to do moment by moment. This reflects the view that the Body of Christ is to be viewed as an organism–continually growing, reproducing and adapting to it’s environment–rather than an organization–run by top-down leadership and formulas intended to produce results.

  6. 4-1-2007

    Wow… for a minute, while I was reading these comments, I thought I was still sitting in my living room listening to friends talk about discipleship. Thank you everyone for continuing this important discussion. You have all added some very important points to this conversation.

    -Alan