By Darlene Johnson, VP Cradar, LLC
JESUS LEFT THIS EARTH WITH A CLEAR MESSAGE IN MATTHEW 28:18-20: MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, AND TEACH THEM THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. BUT WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO BE A DISCIPLE?
The Bible dictionary defines a disciple as, “a student, learner or pupil.” Simply put, a disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. His or her life, purpose, character and values align with Jesus. The Apostle Paul, when speaking of his discipleship of Timothy, conveyed his heart by saying, “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance…” (2 Timothy 3:10, NIV). Paul’s life goal was advancing the Gospel message and living a Gospel-centered life of disciple-making.
Many years ago, God placed discipleship on my heart and showed me the importance of investing in others to advance the Gospel and glorifying His name in the process. Discipleship is my way of life—it’s my purpose. I am grateful for the work God called me to in FCA. As a member of the Board of Trustees, I get an upfront view of how He uses the resources at FCA to make disciples of Jesus Christ. The opportunities to disciple coaches and athletes continue to grow. Earlier this spring, I shared Gospel truths to coaches and athletes during a youth basketball practice in NYC. After sharing, one teary-eyed young man told me about his brokenness, shared his story, and allowed me to pray with him. It was truly a God moment!
As I’ve experienced, studied and watched discipleship, I believe there are four essentials.
REVELATION – BIBLE
Getting Bibles into the hands of as many people as possible gives us the opportunity for the Gospel message to reach the hearts of each recipient. The Bible reveals man’s condition and God’s plan for humanity. Thanks to donor support, FCA distributed 190,832 Bibles this year!
OBSERVATION – RELATIONAL
In a community that’s studying God’s Word together, we engage in fellowship, and the relational aspects of discipleship come into focus. We’re not called to be Christians alone! We teach this to coaches and athletes through our FCA Huddles and Camps.
APPLICATION – PERSONAL
As we learn what God desires, a personal response and application to our lives is required.
MULTIPLICATION – INTENTIONAL
When we become a disciple of Christ, the process is multiplied, and we are empowered and equipped to make more disciples. At FCA, this often looks like campers inviting their friends to Camp. As donors, it can look like sharing our faith with others or inviting someone to serve and invest in ministries alongside us.
It has been a joy to watch and experience the disciple-making process at FCA and partner in this Kingdom work! Thank you, fellow donors, for your partnership and investment into the lives of coaches and athletes. I pray you both engage in discipleship essentials in your lives and continue supporting the discipleship happening at FCA. Your investment enables this wonderful ministry of 65 years to fulfill the Great Commission. Let’s Go!
Prayer: Father, help me live the life of a disciple that follows Jesus’ message, character, purpose, faith and love. Use me to make more disciples. Amen.
Darlene was born and raised in Central New Jersey and has an educational background in business and computer systems. She currently owns and operates a home-based clean beauty business. She is a coach’s wife, her husband is the running backs coach for the New York Giants, which adds to her family’s passion and investment into coaches and athletes through FCA. Darlene humbly serves as Vice Chair, Chair-elect on the FCA Board of Trustees and will assume the role of Chair in January 2020. She enjoys encouraging all people, especially women, to grow in the use of their God-given talents. She is married to Craig and mom to two adult children, Shelby and Sydney.