Ron Longwell, Associate Minister of Discipleship
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit with the staff of the Mayfair Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama (pictured above). God has clearly placed a call on the leaders of the church there to create a discipling culture. They invited us down for a conversation about what that might look like and how they might get “from here to there” in a way that’s authentic and empowering.
We spent a wonderful morning unpacking ideas that could lead to transforming Mayfair into a church that makes disciples who make disciples. We discussed challenges, opportunities, dreams, and realities. It was the first of what we all hope will be many such conversations as we discover together how the Lord might lead and invigorate this congregation of 1,300 members toward effective discipleship. We’re excited to see what the Lord will do!
Much of our activity in the Timothy Network involves nurturing and maturing individuals, yet our work with individuals is always based on the awareness that individuals make up churches. Neil Cole rightly says, “If we seek to make churches, we’ll never make disciples. If we seek to make disciples, we’ll always make churches.” Churches are, after all, God’s collection of Jesus-followers, and when they’re healthy, they function as the Kingdom of God on earth.
We care about healthy churches because healthy churches nurture followers of Jesus who invite others to follow Jesus. We long to see healthy, thriving congregations led by mature, transformed disciples of Jesus that can take love, hope, and redemption into their communities and transform those communities for Jesus. As such, one of our objectives is to do more to help churches create cultures of healthy discipleship.
Those of you who regularly follow and support our efforts recall that we launched the “Ignite” initiative with the dream of igniting fires of disciple making in Tennessee and beyond. We began by working with a church in central Illinois last year and are the process of putting together a series of “Life on Life Weekend Workshops” at both area and other churches outside of Tennessee. We’ll be at the local Kingwood church later this summer and hope to work with congregations in Alabama, Minnesota, and Virginia soon.
Our weekend workshop provides basic training in discipleship and disciple-making in the way of Jesus. We use a simple, relational approach that’s proven effective as we’ve honed it with hundreds of men and women here in Tennessee over the past fourteen years. More than a method, or a program, it’s a naturally missional way of living and loving that anyone can learn. For more information or details, please contact us at the number or email address below.