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Fall in Love With Jesus First

A clip with Jess Woods taken from the Streaming Conference. Jess was married to Ryan until his death from cancer last year. They were actively involved in engaging their community with the love of Christ.

Jess asks an important question:

“What would it look like if people fell in love with Jesus first, and then a church emerged out of that love?”

I discussed this model of church planting recently in my article, New Paradigm for Evangelism. The goal of this model is not to bring people to church; the goal is to make disciples. A church will form out of the community we build. Further, whereas the traditional model focuses on discipleship after someone is brought to Christ, the missionary approach disciples non-believers from the very beginning. I discuss this distinction at length in my book, Living Dangerously: Seven Keys to Intentional Discipleship.

Hugh Halter and Matt Smay reflect on this phase in their book, AND:

“Trust me, if you community engages well and makes authentic friendships with people, and if those people begin to fuse into the spiritual hunger of your community, you will end up doing outside a church context exactly what you’ve been sitting around in the pews waiting to do inside a church context. You’ll be a witness through your life and words.

The first phase in discipleship is to engage non-believers in your community. This is a “no-strings attached” approach built on authentic relationships with people. The next phase is to intentionally develop a community of people on mission together out of those friendships. The final movement is to provide a structure, or a church, to help people think outside of their homes and small groups and go on mission as a body of Christ. Discipleship, teaching, and equipping happen along the way.

In what ways can you begin intentionally discipling others now?

You can read more about this interview on Mark Love’s blog.

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