Growing in His Likeness

by The Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill

Everyone desires growth and progress in life. However, we may wonder at times how positive change happens or if it is even possible. The good news for the Church is that Jesus Christ invites and empowers his followers into the most important personal growth there is: living more abundantly in the power of the Kingdom. I will be teaching a course this Fall with the purpose of helping all of us at SJD incorporate this promise more deeply in our own lives, in our parish, and in our city.

What is a disciple? Simply put, Christian disciples are those who have made it their highest commitment to live continuously with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The goal of discipleship is threefold: 1) to learn from Jesus such that his character shapes our character; 2) to receive his power to do the things that Jesus does; and 3) to deepen our capacity to help others become disciples as well.

Over six weeks together on Sunday mornings and in small groups, we will consider all the resources that God has given us to live just such a life. This course is an opportunity for all to recommit their lives to Christ, again or perhaps for the first time. While personal growth rarely occurs in a linear fashion or at a steady rate, the hopeful and undeniable witness of Scripture and church history is that those who continuously commit to Jesus as the center of life will by his grace experience genuine transformation.

I am clear that the most important work of this parish right now is a strong focus on discipleship. Deepening a discipling culture is essential if St. John the Divine is to fulfill God's vision for us. We will not likely be a light for the city if the light of Christ is not shining in our lives and in our own fellowship as a parish family. But thankfully every one of us is called by Jesus to be his follower, and each is endowed with potent God-given gifts, enabling us to do so. I hope you will join me for this very important, parish-wide course, beginning September 10.

Growing in His Likeness: The Life of Christian Discipleship, a six-week study led by the Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill, begins Sunday, September 10 at 10:15 am in the Hall Life Center.

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