Laura A. Diaz ____ Teach Write

TEACHER, AUTHOR, EDUblogger "I want to (read and) write books that unblock the traffic jam in everyone's mind." ~J. Updike

Discipleship & My Lighthouse


“I thought God just wanted me to be a Christian.”  

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That is what one little girl told me on Friday of last week. Let me back up.  Last week I had the blessing of being the chapel speaker at Glad Tidings Bible Camp: Discipleship Week.   I created a Camper Guide for the week to assist us in going through the curriculum I wrote. You can check it out by clicking the link in the last sentence.  🙂  It worked just as I had planned. We started with the gospel as the prerequisite to being a disciple and worked out way through Mission & Motive, Knowledge & Love for the Word of God, and Character & Conduct.  The last day we were supposed to cover Service. But, as I was prayerfully doing my morning devotions Friday, it became quite clear to me that this lesson was not what this group needed. Instead, during morning chapel I did a review of what we had been learning all week and gave them an assignment to bring back to me evening chapel.  Kind of like an “exit ticket” but on a grander scale.   What they brought back to me brought me to tears. Of course, it couldn’t have been accomplished without the talented and dedicated work  of our media specialist, Reba Shimer.

Here are the highlights from the lessons:

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http://www.dare2share.org/products-resources/free-teen-stuff  

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At this time, they were also introduced to the difference between being a Disciple of Christ and someone that calls themselves a Christian. This idea was something totally new to these kids!

The video above was quite helpful in grabbing their attention. From the video’s description title:

This video is meant to enlighten people to look at what they label themselves.
People claim their religion as “Christian”, but there is more to following Jesus than just accepting Him as your Savior. Jesus states to go and make Disciples of all nations. Jesus didn’t come to fit in with society. He came to save the world by giving Himself as a perfect sacrifice so that all could have the opportunity of eternal life.
Music provided by:
Composer – Jake LaVallee

The part that really seemed to stick with them was that the term “christian” is only used three times in the Bible and even then, it is a derogatory word.  Jesus Himself never even used the word. Instead, He chose to call His followers students, learners, or disciples.  In fact, the first followers of Jesus never called themselves Christians either! Instead, they referred to each other as disciples, brethren, servants (of Christ), believers, to name just a few.

The definition of Christian: A follower of the religion of Christ.

But get this, Jesus didn’t start a religion!   There is an informative article written by Richard Anthony,” Should We Call Ourselves Christians?”  This article explains a little of the history behind the term.

If you go to Zodhiates Word Studies, he tells you that when they were called Christians at Antioch, using the word ‘crematezo,’ it was a “divine warning.” In other words, be forewarned, avoid this word and the use of it. And that’s what the apostles did. You will never read any of these New Testament writers using the term ‘christian’ to describe themselves.

The next day we covered a disciple’s Mission & Motive.

The video above from Hallie Winesett is a short and sweet  explanation of the why behind the need to clarify.

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In the following days I challenged them to know their Why? 

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Because the scariest verses in the bible, for someone who calls themselves a Christian are:

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But on Friday morning, as I previously mentioned, I knew that what I had planned for this day was not what God wanted them to hear.  So, what I did was review what we had been learning and gave them an assignment– Cardboard Testimony.   After serious thoughts on their WHY and what it really means to be a disciple ( and not just someone who calls themselves a Christian); thanks be to God, the results were amazing!

Please take the time to check it out for yourself below. You’ll also see the connection with the title of this article. 😉

Glad Tidings Bible Camp Cardboard Testimonies 2016

And so, my dear readers, my challenges to you are the same I had for these wonderful, young people.

  • Know your WHY!
    • Why do you call yourself a Christian?
    • What does it mean?
  • Go! Be salt & light!
    • Matthew 28:16-20
    • 2 Timothy 2:15
    • 1 Peter 3:15
  • Be disciple-making disciples!

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