ENRICHMAG.CA—Spring 2009

DISCIPLESHIP: INTENTIONAL SPIRITUALITY

by David Hazzard, Editor

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At the time of writing this editorial, Canada is basking in the glory of a fifth consecutive gold medal victory by the Canadian Junior Hockey Team, valiantly won at the 2009 World Junior Championship. The “drive for five” was successful! Perhaps hockey really is OUR game!

While watching segments of the outstanding games against USA, Russia and Sweden, a repeated comment directed me to consider again the value and necessity of discipleship in the church today. Several commentators noted that the level of excellence achieved by the young Canadians was primarily due to the significant, often sacrificial, investment made by parents and coaches in the development of the young players through the Canadian minor hockey system. Vignettes of the basic skills employed by coaches were inserted into the games as we watched how the young players developed as skaters, stickhandlers and scorers. One commentator noted that the potential for gold was created long before the World Championships were ever played. This is also true in the kingdom!

At the time of reading, we are considering the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Before departing from His disciples, Jesus gave a timeless commission to “go and make disciples of all nations.” This edition of Enrich is a call to hear and engage Jesus’ mandate to make disciples—to develop disciples as intentionally, effectively and passionately as Canada develops hockey players. Faithfully making disciples is THE key in achieving gold standard effectiveness, growth and fruitful- ness in the kingdom.

Recent statistics provided by both Bibby and Barna are disturbing and reveal increased consumerism in the church, a decline in basic biblical knowledge, and a disconnect between orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The clear indication is that the church of the 21st century is facing a discipleship crisis that we must neither deny nor ignore. It is important to ask: Are we effectively preparing another generation to successfully engage and succeed in Christian life and ministry?

Some very effective disciple-making individuals, churches and ministries serving across Canada and around the world are celebrated in this edition. Ministries like LeaderImpact, led by Paul Henderson (yes, the hockey player!), will encourage us in our singular task.

Let us allow this edition of Enrich to challenge, inspire, encourage and inform us about discipleship. Let’s ensure that discipleship is the primary pursuit of every believer and every local church in our Fellowship. According to Jesus, this must be OUR “game.”
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