In Pastor Jeff's Blog

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. – Matthew 9:9

Have you ever wanted to be just like someone else? I can remember standing next to my dad in the bathroom as he saved in the morning.  I covered my face with shaving cream and scraped it off with a popsicle stick. Why? Because I wanted to be like my dad.

In middle school I became so enamored with Ian Anderson, the front man for the band Jethro Tull, that I taught myself how to play flute and mimicked what I could from his albums.

At the heart of it, discipleship is about the process of becoming like Jesus. When Jesus invited Matthew to follow him he didn’t just mean “go where I go.” It was an invitation to do what Jesus did, to become like him.

Discipleship isn’t just about learning information, though that’s part of it. It’s about transformation. It’s about a change of mind (Romans 12:1-2) and attitude (Philippians 2:5-8) which results in a change in how we love God, ourselves and others. Ultimately this transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18), but it is also our work.

Our work in the process of discipleship includes knowing Jesus more through daily scripture reading, expressing our love for Jesus in weekly worship, conversing with Jesus in daily prayer and sharing Jesus’ love with others through selfless service and gentle witness. Over time these habits shape us just as surely as a stream shapes a valley.

Perhaps you’re tired of playing church and merely going through the religious motions. Maybe you’re discouraged with an unchanged life. If so, it’s time to get serious about discipleship. You’ll find resources for your journey here, including information on the Engage Bible Study which starts this week.

Discipleship is a journey, and like every journey this one begins with a first step. What will your first step be?

Jeff Marian is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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