Friday, May 09, 2008

A disciple-making Church, by Kathleen Henderson Staudt

Kathleen Henderson Staudt on discipleship over at the Episcopal Cafe...this is a MUST READ ESSAY!!

I've posted just a bit of her essay below, but I highly recommend it. She is an apt observer of our church, and is a deep thinking who is passionate about the future (and present) of our church.

~Rev. Peter M. Carey


A disciple-making Church?

By Kathleen Henderson Staudt

Over the altar at Virginia Seminary, where I teach, are the words from Mark 16:15. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” (“proclaim the good news to the whole creation” is how the New Revised Standard Version has it.) These words have inspired generations of people called to the ordained ministry of word and sacrament. But as one of the people called to the ministry of teaching in and beyond the church, I find myself drawn, this ascensiontide, to Matthew’s version of the Great Commission, and I wonder what the church would look like if we spent more time reflecting on what Jesus might have meant here. In Matthew 28: 19-20, he says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

. . . . and . . . .

. . . the idea of discipleship gets to the heart of who Jesus is or wants to be for us. It moves us beyond worrying about the shape of institutions and back to a focus on the mission that Jesus has promised to support, if we try to follow him: “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” What would the Church look like if we thought of “disciple-making” as our core purpose, in adult formation programs, in seminary education, in worship?

. . . read the rest HERE


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