Faith in Action
The word “Christian” is mentioned in the Bible three times. The word “disciple” appears 269 times. A church is not a club full of members but a community full of disciples, who follow the teachings and the practices of Jesus Christ.
Discipleship is the bridge between faith and life. We practice discipleship when we both read the Bible and let the Bible read us. Christian faith is more than agreeing with what the Bible says. It is ultimately about what is happening to us on the inside. Discipleship happens when our hearts are changed by an encounter with the Living God, who comes to us in Jesus Christ. The changed heart makes a difference in the way we live our lives in the world. We are disciples when people see the Lord’s Prayer come alive in who we are and in what we do.
Disciples become Christ’s Body, alive and at work in the world today. John Wesley and his brother, Charles, began the Methodist movement as “an active faith that lives within.” The way to discipleship — a way that starts with God’s grace and ends in our faithful service to others — is outlined in Charles Wesley’s poem…
Plead we thus for faith alone, Faith which by our works is shown;
God it is who justifies, Only faith the grace applies,
Active faith that lives within, Conquers earth, and hell, and sin,
Sanctifies and makes us whole, Forms the Saviour in the soul.
John Wesley often quoted Paul regarding the goal of discipleship: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Discipleship is a compass that helps keep a traveler on course to his or her destination. For United Methodists, the destination is holiness of heart and life. Central United Methodist Church takes discipleship seriously as we strive to be a Light Along the Lake Shore.