The Disciple Declaration
The hour is at hand for God’s people to surrender to a complete transformation, to move intentionally and intelligently out into their communities, living in a way that begs the question, building relationships, and bringing the love of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
We invite you to make a commitment to the life-giving call God has on your life by signing the Disciple Declaration. In signing this declaration, you are committing to make a daily determination to be different by becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus. You are making the prayerful determination to live your life as a true, missional disciple.
The Disciple Declaration is the culmination of The Seven “D’s” of the Disciple Dynamic, which is an integral part of the missional system that develops and deploys Christians for obedience to Christ’s command to go and make disciples. Here are the Seven “D’s” in brief:
1. Disciple Disorder: Many of our churches have focused on attracting an audience to the exclusion of activating an army of committed believers that is actively committed to evangelism and discipleship.
2. Disciple Dilemma: Far too many Christians have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, understanding that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for their sins, but they possess little or no idea what the ensuing Christian life entails. They have no spiritual “parent” to teach them solid, biblical truth and encourage the young Christian to obey the Great Commission of Christ: to Go and make disciples.
3. Disciple Deficit: We see a widespread lack of spiritual maturity, which is evidenced by disciple-making that is producing a visible, multiplying, spiritual lineage. We don’t have a gun problem in America, as many believe; nor do we have an abortion problem or an education problem or whatever symptom we might identify. No, we have a missional disciple deficit problem. We simply do not have enough equipped, local, relational, urban missionaries who are actively pursuing the lost with the great truths of the Gospel.
4. Disciple Definition: This is the pattern of discipleship: Follow to become; go to make. To become a true disciple I must follow a spiritual parent who is following Jesus in order to become more like Him. “Follow my example,” Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth, “as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). They then go out into the unbelieving world to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
5. Disciple’s Diagnosis: We use key Scriptures to become more conformed to the likeness of Christ, rather than trying to conform Him to our own image.
“Follow me and you will become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).
“Love God and love your neighbor” (Mark 12:29-31).
“Go, make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20).
6. Disciple’s Distance: Luke 9:23 and Galatians 6:14 call on me to die daily. What stands between me and my daily death? I can answer that question by examining my life in light of the three scriptures in the Disciple’s Diagnosis. The Disciple’s Distance calls me to discern what is dividing me from Jesus in order to destroy me. And this brings us to the final “D” of the Disciple Dynamic . . .
7. Disciple’s Declaration: We have said that this declaration is a daily decision to be different by surrendering to the Way of Devotion. The Way of Devotion will be fully taught during the upcoming Development Day. You will learn how to become a durable, missional disciple, someone who is observably and joyfully different.
Our lives as missional disciples must be shaped by the first word of Jesus (“Follow me and you will become fishers of men”); the final word of Jesus (“Go, make disciples”), and the fulfilling word of Jesus (“Love God and love your neighbor”). We cannot merely be familiar with these words; we must be faithful to them. The prayer of the Disciple’s Declaration incorporates these three formational Scriptures.
Lord, I am going to follow You in a way that will result in surrendering
to your will for me to become a fisher of men; I will love you in a way
that will result in selflessly loving my neighbor; and I will go with urgency
and passion and make disciples of those You bring into my life.
The Disciple’s Declaration is a commitment to live out the Word of our Lord in such a way that it creates a great catch of lost souls. You may wish to begin your team meetings with this prayer as a way to refresh and recommit to the Great Commission that has been placed on us by our Lord.
You will see that part of this Declaration is filling in your team leader’s name. Your team leader will be alerted that you have signed, which will be a tremendous encouragement to him or her. You will find that the connection of the missional team is vitally important as you continue to move along the Urban Village Way. There is tremendous value in being part of a team. No one can do this alone; we need each other for encouragement and accountability. There is no such thing as reaching your city apart from your church.
By joining the missional team you are doing your part to create the missional tipping point in your church, which, by God’s grace, will ignite a missional movement in your city.
On Development Day you will learn that God’s plan for reaching lost people in your neighborhood, in your workplace, and in your social sector, is to use you. Let us go one step further: You are the greatest, the most important, the most influential person to reach the lost . . . not your pastor, not some “professional evangelist” . . . It is you!
So thank you for signing this declaration and making the commitment every day to be different. Give your life fully and wholly to God, place your life and your efforts wholly in His hands, and He will use you to haul in a marvelous, miraculous catch of lost souls.
Let’s go fishing!