Jesus Called His Followers To Connect Believers

Jesus Called His Followers To Connect Believers

Jesus gathered emerging leaders.

The second phase in Jesus’ disciple-making process invited disciples to connect with other believers. After John the Baptist was arrested by Herod Antipas, Jesus stepped up and started preaching His message of repentance and faith (Matthew 4.12-17 ESV). He also worked to gather a small group of emerging leaders who could carry that message forward.
The first two emerging leaders that Jesus enlisted were Peter and Andrew. He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4.19 ESV. Next, He invited James and John to join the group and follow Him Matthew 4.21 ESV. When they agreed to follow Jesus, they were making a commitment to Him, but they were also making a commitment to each other.
The group lived in community. They went with Jesus as He traveled, preached, and healed. They watched and learned from Him as He cast out demons, announced the coming of God’s Kingdom, and challenged the hypocrisy of the religious leaders who loved compliance with the law more than people.

A commitment to connect.

To grow spiritually, you must make a commitment to connect. Specifically, Jesus called His followers to make four important connections:
1. Disciples must connect with Jesus Christ. Jesus issued a clear call for people to follow Him. Spiritually curious people can’t remain seekers forever. At some point, they have to make a decision about whether to trust Jesus and follow Him or not. One cannot be a disciple of Jesus if he isn’t a follower of Jesus.
2. Disciples must connect to a church through baptism. Following Jesus is a personal decision, but it involves public actions; it can’t be done in secrecy (Luke 9.26 ESV). After a person has decided to follow Jesus, the next step is to go public with that decision by being baptized. While baptism doesn’t save a person, it’s the way Jesus gave us to announce that we’re following Him and connect with a church family.
3. Disciples must connect with other believers in community. In addition to aligning themselves with Jesus in public, Jesus’ followers also chose to do life together. They spent time together and shared meals. They learned to navigate the ups and downs of life together. Small groups provide the best environment for spiritual growth today because they allow you to know others and be known by them.
4. Disciples must connect with Jesus’ cause. Slowly but surely, Jesus’ disciples stopped watching Jesus do everything and started joining in on what Jesus was doing. They got involved, serving others with their unique talents, gifts, and abilities. As you give and serve, you contribute to the cause of Christ in the world.
This blog features an excerpt from one of Student Series our books, Invest In A Few

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