“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 is the call to discipleship. It is what keeps believers together in our shared mission to make His name known to the ends of the earth.
Discipleship, in light of the pandemic, really is to fix our eyes on Jesus and to work alongside fellow believers (while observing the various safety measures). During this season when the temptation is to isolate and emotionally withdraw, the practice of attending to the presence of Jesus and attending to others is needed even more. We need to develop the habit of finding comfort and encouragement in Christ’s love (Philippians 2:1).
Hebrews 10:25 writes, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching”. In our ongoing discipleship, we need to find way to support one another emotionally, even if not physically, during this challenging time. We need to intentionally engage in practices of Christian friendship and plug into the community, because they are essential for our spiritual health and growth.
In this current situation and in the digital realm, we can help each other carry out the mission of discipleship in our families and immediate spheres of influence.
Discipleship in our family
Online services are good opportunity for families to come together in the homes to worship our Heavenly Father. This enables each member of the family to learn more about one another and grow in discipleship together as we pray for one another.
Discipleship in our Christian community
A large part of our personal experience growing up in the church was the meals that people had together after service. It was there that we got to know one another better and discipleship could flourish through leading and encouragements. Small Groups could consider bringing this element back by inviting each other out for meals outside of online house church.
Discipleship in our immediate spheres of influence
Going digital should not be an excuse to brush aside the need for discipleship. We could still intentionally set aside time for conversations to share God’s peace with the people around us. We could even video-call our friends who are quarantined or on a different shift-work arrangement.
Let us continue to look to one another for support and think about how we can continue to be a blessing to others while being socially responsible.
By brother John Koh