The Way of Discipleship at Kansas City First Church
What is Discipleship?
Discipleship at Kansas City First Church describes our following the way of Jesus Christ, with Jesus as our guide and support.
By God’s grace, discipleship describes “our” following, both as persons and together as a community. We believe holiness of heart and life should appear both in each person’s life, and in our congregation’s collective living together as a community. We know Jesus provides us a “way of life” through His teachings but also through His actions, dispositions, commandments, and ultimate demonstration of love and hope through Jesus’ death and resurrection. However, we also know Jesus continues to guide and support us through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the life of the congregation, leading us into a world where God still redeems and reconciles.
How do we Disciple?
We disciple people as we are formed into Christlikeness, discerning the will of God and engaging the church and world in ministry and compassionate witness.
Discipleship entails three overlapping processes: formation, discernment, and compassionate engagement in our world. We are shaped and formed through our worship of God, in our personal devotional practices, and through our accountability to each other. We seek to explore and understand God’s will and work in the world through hearing and reading scripture, from investigating the history and doctrines of the church, and by prayerfully allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our discussions about the issues of our day. We disciple also as we allow God to empower us for ministry and “send” us into our world as ambassadors of reconciliation, providing both a witness of our faith and a compassionate presence in our world.
Where do we Disciple?
We disciple people: through the life of the church, in our homes, at our work or school, and within our communities.
Discipleship begins within the community of faith, the church, but includes a number of other places where we live our lives. If we restrict discipleship to solely “church practice” we miss the great resources many families bring in how people who love each other, teach each other. We also have to envision how our work or school, and our contributions to the broader community also provide opportunities for discipleship.
What guides our Discipleship?
Our resources for Discipleship come from the Bible, the body of Christ, and our life in God’s world.
Scripture provides one key source for shaping our lives, helping us to understand God’s will, and guiding our compassion. We trust scripture but understand that our personal interpretation alone proves insufficient. We also draw from the body of Christ, the church, by studying its history and doctrines, and engaging the church’s practices seriously. Finally we ask questions concerning the issues that shape our lives, both our personal struggles and also the larger issues facing the world we live within. At times we may focus on one of these three resources with greater intensity, at other times we may bring resources together for ongoing conversation.
Discipleship: Our following Jesus, through where we live, what we study, and how we live, for the sake of holiness of heart and life.
Discipleship, our walking the way of Jesus, with Jesus, comes from a gracious God and continues through the presence of the Holy Spirit. We learn discipleship through the church, in our families, at our work or school, and within our communities. God provides us resources from scripture, the church as the body of Christ, and our everyday lives. Discipleship calls us to allow God to shape us, guide us in God’s will and work, and use our daily actions to express holiness of heart and life, as God’s people and God’s church.