Dear Oakland Family,
Ask yourself the following question and then take a minute to answer it to yourself before reading on: “What is Christian discipleship?”
     By definition, a “disciple” is a follower and is one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.  A “Christian disciple” is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ.  “Christian discipleship” is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christ-like.  This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words, and actions and to compare them with the Word of God.  This requires that we be in the Word daily-studying it, praying over it, and obeying it.  In addition, we should always be ready to give testimony of the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) and to disciple others to walk in His way.  According to Scripture, being a Christian disciple involves personal growth characterized by the following:
1. Putting Jesus first in all things (Mark 8:34-38)
2. Following Jesus’ teachings (John 8:31-21)
3. Fruitfulness (John 15:5-8)
4. Love for other disciples (John 13:34-35)
5. Evangelism and multiplication (Matthew 28:18-20)
I will tell you what I constantly tell our Sunday School class: “You can’t give what you don’t have!”  Do you want to see God’s kingdom grow in our community?  Well then, that growth starts within us first.  Ask God to start a discipling work in you!

Stephen Littleton, Minister of Education & Counseling