Help! Remote discipleship?

What a strange time we live in. Decades from now, people will still be talking about the special and poignant phase we are currently in. One and a half meters away is a new normal. The question is when the old normal will return or whether we may never even go back to what was. Studying online Keeping distance and limiting group meetings also has a huge impact on Royal Mission. Like all educational institutions in our country, we have had to convert all our schools and courses to online education in recent weeks. The various teams within our ministry have done an enormous amount of work in various ways to continue to inspire and train our students and participants as much as possible. One course is given via Zoom and the other via pre-recorded YouTube videos. In addition to their remote lessons, the students of the full-time school also receive digital coaching and experience joint worship moments via the screen of their PC. They are all new experiences. For them and for us. More than streaming Royal Mission is a discipleship movement. We are passionate about proclaiming the kingdom of God and training others in it. Multiplying and training people to become strong followers of Jesus is our lasting mission. Also in these new circumstances. The latter presents us with an enormous challenge, because discipleship is more than streaming information. No matter how powerful that information is or how strongly it is conveyed. Paul says:“Imitate Me as I Imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Imitation of Jesus cannot be obtained separately from people who personally precede you or help you in that growth process. Passionate sermons, inspiring lessons, or stunning studies do not make you a disciple. Otherwise our churches and our church services would long ago produce much more discipleship than they do now. Apparently more is needed. Much more! Building on the rock First of all, it is necessary that the truths taught be tried and practiced in practice. Without praxis we produce at best well-educated theologians and at worst only scribes. Knowledge without skill loses its connection with reality. It is not without reason that Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount with the story about the foolish and the wise man. The difference between the houses they build is the strength of the foundation. The wise man builds on the rock, which symbolizes doing what you have heard. Converting theory into action ensures that your life house can withstand the storms of life. It’s human work! Yet more is needed to become spiritually mature. Practicing can only be successful if there is a trainer involved who wants to invest in your growth. That is exactly the essence of imitation. You imitate someone who helps you become more like Jesus. That is why Jesus gives the command to make new disciples to his people. Discipleship is human work! Of course, discipleship is a development in which the Holy Spirit brings about real change, but people are instructed to initiate this transformation process consciously and again and again. Contact with and participation from people are necessary keys in the growth towards spiritual maturity. Just as you do not receive your education from a book or a video, but rather from the people who regularly guide you. Help us! We face an enormous challenge. We are 100% convinced that people and the intense contact with those people are decisive in discipleship. How do we make disciples when we can only have distance and digital contact? I am writing this piece because we are really looking for new answers and other (educational) methods to continue to shape our passion. We don’t just want to entertain or give people a good feeling about a course or training. Our dream is revival of the church, because Christians mature and live by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you think you can help us or have expertise that can help us continue to effectively do what we are called to do in the current circumstances, please contact us. Email us at dieteke@royalmission.nl , she is our education manager. Thank you in advance for your thoughts, help and resources that you will offer us. We sincerely believe that God will show us new ways to perhaps become more effective and fruitful than ever before, because the fields are white for harvest…!

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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