The last thing Jesus said to His followers while He was on earth was "Go and make disciples of all nations." Go and duplicate yourselves. Take your faith and pass it on to someone else. When we talk about our "big win" of helping children take steps to own their own faith, we're really just talking about discipleship. What does discipleship look like for us here at CountryKids?
DISCIPLESHIP IS ABOUT LIVING, NOT LEARNING.
We live much of our lives defined by our relationships: what friend group we're a part of, where we work, where we went to school, who our parents are, etc... Because of this, our relationships with God, and the children, take on such a huge role in our ministry. When we disciple the children, we are not just focusing on teaching them about Jesus, we are modeling what faith in Jesus looks like in our own lives. Discipleship doesn't stop in a classroom when your hour is up, just like your faith in Jesus doesn't stop when you walk out the doors of our church. It's a part of your everyday life.
DISCIPLESHIP HAPPENS IN COMMUNITY
When we talk about Jesus' ministry, we often talk about how He ministered to groups of people: The feeding of the 5000, the sermon on the mount, eating with tax collectors and sinners, etc... That's because much of Jesus' ministry was focused on community, the relationships He built with other people. Discipleship happens best when we're in a community. That's why we strive at CountryKids to come alongside parents, guardians, and families, to help build a community of Jesus followers that will love on and support their children!
DISCIPLESHIP IS A PROCESS
Just like our spiritual journey, there is no set end to discipleship. It's a life-long journey. Because of that, we strive to put people in the lives of the children who are in this for the long haul. When our volunteers sign up to serve at CountryKids, we ask that they plan to serve for at least a year. Discipleship is a process that takes time, and we want people who are willing to take that time to go on the journey with the children who walk through our doors.
Just like Jesus built a community of disciples who loved and followed God, we want to build a community of disciples too. CountryKids are just beginning their spiritual journies, much the same as we did (whether it's been one year, five years, ten years, fifty years...). We all have to start somewhere, and when we have a ministry of children who are taking steps to own their own faith, we have a community of disciples who are ready and able to go and make disciples of all nations.