IN8-Discipleship

IN8 Discipleship


IN8 Discipleship is a picture of the practices that we outwork as disciples of Christ at Empower Church. 

Jesus last commission must have our first commitment, to “Therefore go and make disciples…”(Matt 28:19) This was his number one. His Numero Uno. His main thing. And it is in THAT main thing… the making of disciples that we as Empower Church are committed to walking out and working towards in everything that we do. So, what is this discipleship? What does it look like and how does it practically outwork in our lives? At Empower Church, we use the language “IN8 Discipleship” to describe the process and practices of Discipleship. The reason that we call it ‘IN8 Discipleship’ is for two reasons – the first is that there are 8 ‘In-’ words that describe what disciples DO, and secondly because we are convinced that the ‘IN8’ nature of discipleship has already been sown into people’s hearts through the incorruptible seed of the word of God (1 Pet 1:23 NKJV) and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, Rom 8:14-17).

innate
|ināt| adjective inborn; natural, inherent, indwelling, intrinsic, instinctive, intuitive, unlearned; hereditary, inherited, in the blood, in the family; inbuilt, deep-rooted, deep-seated, hardwired. 


So this list of “8-Ins”, is not meant to provide a burdensome task list for Christ followers to flog themselves to outwork – but rather it is a description of the innate nature of discipleship praxis that naturally outworks through the life of every born again and twice baptized believer.

IN8 Logos

Instructed

For learning and growth
You know that your discipleship is IN8 when you have INSTRUCTED Learning and Growth. Disciples are learners who NEVER stop growing, and as such we are teachable enough to learn from those around us and in front of us in the race of life. We have not arrived, not one of us… so why would we limit our potential by stunting our life with pride!? God’s desire for us is MORE in fruit, faith, fellowship, favour and finance… and we will continue to stretch and learn and grow from credible instructors so that we can become all that God says we can… and fulfil our destiny in Christ!


PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Diligently give yourself to what you are learning from your Pastors’ teaching and the ministry of the local church.
  2. - Keep a paper or electronic journal in which you can write and record the lessons that you are learning from church messages and bible reading.
  3. - Take notes on the scriptures and their application as taught at Empower Church, study them in your own time during the week and D.A.R.E yourself towards greater obedience to what you’ve heard by: Deciding – Adopting – Repeating – Exampling
  4. - Complete our New Christians study – The Purple Book, to lay a strong foundation for your new life in Christ.
  5. - Read the bible daily, seeking continually for keys and revelation that help you to Discover Jesus, Grow in Discipleship & Fulfill your Destiny.
  6. - Purchase useful books that align with what you’re learning, and what your church is teaching.
  7. - Enroll in a course that will take you to a new level of expertise personally or professionally.
  8. - Approach credible mentors for specific life areas that you are want discipleship in. Connect with leaders and peers in your church family who inspire you towards life long learning.
  9. - When faced with a significant life decision, particularly one that will potentially affect your connection to Christ and Empower Church – seek counsel and advice from trusted others BEFORE making a decision that you may later regret. After the ‘daily bread’ of personal bible reading, treat your local church teaching as your primary dietary intake when it comes to discipleship – that is the family in which you are planted and the ‘meat and potatoes’ pastoral instruction that God has provided for your discipleship.

INVOLVEMENT

In Urban Connections
You know that your discipleship is IN8 when you have INVOLVEMENT in Urban Connections. We are real, we are raw, we are authentic; and we’ve discovered that we are better together than we could ever be apart. There’s no need for masks or charades in our midst – because we don’t do disingenuous! To be a disciple at Empower Church means to be a part of our family, our community, our friendships. We love to get involved in mid-week Urban Connections where we care for, share with, and dare one another on in discipleship and destiny. Because that’s how the church has ALWAYS rolled on, and that’s how it will continue to roll on through us!!! So drop your guard, be yourself, and find your place of belonging here with us.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Find out where the nearest Urban Connection is to you by looking online at http://empowerchurch.com.au/the-shire/ministries/urban-connections/
  2. - Attend your Urban Connection punctually, regularly, and lovingly.
  3. - Don’t fight against or be a problem to your Urban Connection leader, instead throw your support and prayers behind their leadership.
  4. - To make friends, be a friend. Remember people’s names, talk about their interests as well as your own, improve your people skills and relational acumen.
  5. - Don’t just be a consumer in your group – be a contributor.
  6. - Remember, the first step of discipleship is a willingness to be instructed for learning and growth – that’s the attitude that we should bring to our Urban Connection as well.
  7. - To find out more about what it takes to become an approved Urban Connection Leader at Empower Church see our inspiring 14 part media series at: https://vimeo.com/channels/uctraining. See Ps. Luke to apply for running an Urban Connection once you have completed the video training series.

INVESTMENT

In Empower Church
Disciples at Empower Church generously invest their time, talent and treasure in God’s house. We are a tithing people, we are a participating people, for we are stewards, servants, and partners in His Kingdom. We look for opportunities to roll up our sleeves and serve generously, knowing that we are investing in the greatest cause on the face of the planet – the local church. This is OUR family of faith and we as IN8 Disciples are firmly planted in God’s House. Our roots of time, talent, and treasure are deeply and generously planted in the soil of this vision and NO ONE is going to shake us loose from where God has placed us. We value unity, camaraderie, faith and action and cheer aloud for what God is doing through our part of God’s international movement – the Church!!!

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Bring your regular, first priority tithe into God’s house as a way of leading your hearts towards God’s priorities and faith in his miraculous provision listed in Malachi 3:10-12.
  2. - Be financially generous towards breakthrough offerings and the V3 visionary priorities.
  3. - Be punctually, enthusiastically, and regularly committed to rostered service in God’s house.
  4. - Use your musical talent in the worship team, your relational talent in our young people’s ministry, your people skills talent on door greeting or pastoral follow up. Assess and identify your talents and ask how can they be used for God’s glory in and through Empower Church’s vision?
  5. - Volunteer for church conferences, camps and events
  6. - Open up your home for a mid-week Urban Connection.
  7. - Consider what some of your professional / acquired talents and skills are and how they could be invested in the church.
  8. - In addition to weekend worship service and mid-week Urban Connection – what other time could you make available for Empower Church’s vision?
  9. - Applaud the ETV vision EVERY week, no matter how many times you’ve seen the vision promoted – this keeps your own heart in a state of celebration towards your church AND models for guests our IN8 Culture of ‘Investment in Empower Church’.

INTENTIONAL

Loving Relationships
The next part of IN8 Discipleship is building INTENTIONAL Loving Relationships towards our immediate family, our broader community, and even our human enemy. It’s love that we’ll be known for (John 13:35) and love that’s our greatest command (Mark 12:30-31). It’s love that is the never-failing force of God that we’re to bring to all those we’re called to walk with. Family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours, acquaintences and even enemies are to be the benefactors of our indiscriminant love – the visitation of God that drives out fear from all it touches with it’s piercing light. We are not casual with this – we are intentional – we make everyday an opportunity to bring more of God’s resuscitating love to those dependant on our presence as the saving breath of heaven.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Meditate upon and be transformed by God’s love for you, come into agreement with self love – for until this happens you will never be able to outwork intentional neighbour love as you should.
  2. - Put your family relationships on project status – put pen to paper and plan HOW you are going to love your spouse, your children, your parents, and your siblings over the next month.
  3. - Attend Church and your Urban Connection and look for practical ways to show love. Who can you greet, encourage, bake for, show hospitality towards, forgive, stand up for, or serve?
  4. - Pray for God to show you what intentional loving relationships looks like in your professional world. How does the practice of intentional loving relationships change the way that you approach your colleagues, employer, clients, customers, and providers?
  5. - Do not permit your human enemies to harden your heart towards humanity. Keep your hands clean and your heart pure by choosing to love them anyway.
  6. - “For God so loved the world that he gave…” Look for opportunities to generously and selflessly give love to those around you.
  7. - Praying with each other, supporting each other through trials, forgiving each other, serving each other.
  8. - When self evaluating your relational interactions with others at the end of each day/week, particularly your interactive conduct and words – don’t just ask yourself… “Was I honest? Was I strong? Was I right?” Instead, ask yourself the question that is both the most challenging and the most important… “Was I loving?

INFECTIOUS

Kingdom Culture
This practice of IN8 Discipleship and the last (Intentional Loving Relationships) are inseparably linked like the twin engines on a jet-plane. God’s Kingdom is what we bring, and God’s love is how we bring it. Both are needed. Both are vital. Love without Lordship leads to heresy and chaos, just as Lordship without love leads to legalism and fear. Enter us, the Church with our message of BOTH Lordship Kingdom Culture with Intentional Relational Love. God’s Kingdom reign is infectious and powerful and has answers for everyone and everything, everywhere. There is nothing that we are a part of, and no one that we know that would not be mightily benefitted from encountering God’s Infectious Kingdom Culture. His Kingdom reign has blessing and benefit to all who will submit to its authority. Living out this commissional worldview means being alive to the Lordship of God’s Kingdom – and recognizing its cultural affects upon the world around us… a world into which we are to pray and live “Let Your Kingdom Come, and let your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Carry yourself in every area of your life with a sense of strength, stature, authority and dignity – for you are a carrier and an ambassador of infectious Kingdom culture (Luke 17:21b)
  2. - Prayerfully consider – what does the rulership and reign of God look like in my own household? Our words, our media habits, our family interactions? What should change, what could be improved to better reflect Kingdom Culture? (…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. [Joshua 24:15])
  3. - Ask yourself… what would Jesus do if he was to come to my workplace? How would Jesus relate with my Boss? What would the reign of God look like over the finances that I earn? How do I better outwork and articulate the Kingdom of God in my relationships and in how I set up my life structures?
  4. - Consider the areas of your life where you are not getting the results that you desire… begin to pray for God’s Kingdom to Come and will to be done in that area. Ask him if there’s something that you need to change, or adjust in your approach to that area to bring more of Jesus Lordship to it?
  5. - Rise up as a ‘co-heir with Christ’ who has been given restored dominion over life and creation and who is seated in heavenly places with Jesus. Refuse to live life as a victim on the back foot and instead begin to forcefully advance God’s rule and reign in and through your life – no matter what the opposition.
  6. - MUCH of you outworking your destiny comes down to you bringing intentional loving relationships and infectious kingdom culture into everything that you do, everywhere that you go, and to everyone that you meet. Brainstorm what you could do to better outwork the IN8 Discipleship Practices of Intentional Loving Relationships and Infectious Kingdom Culture. Ask yourself, if I was to bring Christian LOVE and Kingdom LORDSHIP into all of your roles – what would look different?

INFLUENCE

In Our World
You know that you’re practicing IN8 Discipleship when you are have INFLUENCE in your community. The ancient saints of the early church ‘turned the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6) through their Public Presence, Preaching & Progress despite Persecution and now it’s our turn to do the same. We will leave our mark on mankind with an autograph of heaven’s excellence. The world’s brokenness and barrenness is our opportunity for difference; it’s corruption and cynicism makes our sanctity shine all the more – not for our glory – but for God’s – that his ways may be proven right and that his Kingdom would know no end! Everywhere we go things are transformed for the better because we take the influence of heaven with us. Wherever the soles of our feet tread, God has given us that land in which to lead and leave a legacy, because after all, creation has been eagerly awaiting our arrival! (Romans 8:19)

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Start at home by leading yourself and your family incredibly well… this is a prerequisite for all Christian leadership and influence (1 Tim 3:4?5). Be above reproach and avoid any and all appearance of evil.
  2. - Read Pastor Luke’s INFLUENCERS Expectations document and take the 30C Leadership Self Assessment quarterly to identify influence growth opportunities.
  3. - Give yourself to the truthful teachings of scripture rather than entertaining strange and unhelpful ‘pet-doctrines’ that will only undermine your credibility with others (1 Tim 3:9).
  4. - Identify your gift-blend, personality profile, areas of passion, learnt expertise, and personal testimony and figure out what needs within your church and community best overlap with who you are and what most burdens you.
  5. - Read books and biographies on Christian Leadership and Christian Leaders.
  6. - Do not shrink back from truth just because it is unpopular or persecuted.
  7. - Work collaboratively with your Pastor and gather others to work with you in projects, teams, Urban Connections, and community influence so that your efforts are multiplied by the assistance of others.
  8. - Ensure that your purpose in INFLUENCE is uncompromisingly glued to the next and final practice of IN8 Discipleship.

INVITATIONAL

Passion For Others
IN8 Discipleship is not complete with an Invitational Passion for Others. Disciples make disciples. They ‘reproduce after their own kind’ and are always on the look out for those who have not yet Discovered Jesus who could be invited into the greatest relationship of their lives. With Him! … and with YOU, one of his IN8 Disciples. When you live here it means that you’re eagerly looking for opportunities to introduce others to Jesus!!! You see white fields all around and like a labourer on fire you’ll leverage every relationship, invitational resource and church rally-point possible to bring others into the salvation you’ve found. With purposeful prayer you name people before heaven and do all that you can to see them come! Because we believe that one of the greatest gifts we could ever offer somebody is the gift of our invitation to church.

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR THIS PRACTICE:
  1. - Somebody might not be ready for church… but they can still be ready for a coffee catchup, bowling night, or social catchup with you. They might not be ready to make Jesus their saviour yet – but through being invited to get to know YOU relationally they are also, by 1 degree of separation getting to know HIM better.
  2. - Identify 4 or 5 people in your world that you REALLY want to pray for and see come to Christ. Ask for God to open the door and make a way for meaningful relationship that can start moving them towards Discovering Jesus.
  3. - Give yourself to the truthful teachings of scripture rather than entertaining strange and unhelpful ‘pet-doctrines’ that will only undermine your credibility with others (1 Tim 3:9).
  4. - Organise introductions between people in your church that have common interests with people in your world. This will make the prospect of coming to church less intimidating for future guests because they know more people.
  5. - Get confident and articulate in talking about miracles that you’ve seen, what you’ve experienced with God, or what he’s doing for others, essentially saying: “God is real, he’s doing amazing things… He can do amazing things for you too.”
  6. - Carry the church business cards / invitation cards with you ready to give to somebody who seems interested in church.
  7. - Refer people to our Podcast, Website, Vision Video, You Tube Channel and Empower Church Facebook Page to find out more information on who we are.
  8. - Buy somebody a NT bible that might be interested in starting to read it, offer to meet with them once a week to answer any question that they have.
  9. - Keep an eye out online for good apologetics websites so that you can refer people to good information for their tougher questions.
  10. - Use Facebook to post things that are positive, inspiring, and build others up. Let your witness on Social Media be strong and encouraging so that people are open to your invitation, example and influence.
  11. - Empower Her Nights, Youth Pizza nights, Young Adult Hang nights, Urban Connection fun nights / potluck dinners, Super Sunday PM services, Church Family Dinners, Pre-service Morning Tea, Sunday Morning 10am service, Guest Speaker Sundays, Rich Relationship Marriage nights. These are ALL rally point opportunities that you could utilize to Engage people through Invitation.