Pastor Heewon Kim

Come, Follow Me
How are you doing today? The weather seems to make an announcement saying, “Winter is around the corner!” I pray that God’s protecting grace and care surrounds you as the cold season is coming. Recently, I’ve read a book on discipleship. From the book, I’ve been inspired and challenged in many ways and I’d like to share with you some of them. What is discipleship, by the way? Discipleship simply has to do with the Great Commission spoken by our Lord Jesus as one of his last words before he ascended to heaven in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (NRSV) This is what Jesus asked us to do. Making disciples is the top priority for us to do as a church, and as His disciples. In the book, there’s a story told of a teenager riding on a train with his shoe united. A passenger on the train, in a kind gesture, pointed it out to the teenager, and the teenager nodded but did nothing. After a few minutes passed, the passenger said again, “Your shoe is united; I would not want you to trip.” The teenager said thank you, but did nothing in response. As they both bot ready to depart at their stop, the passenger noticed that the teenager’s shoe was still untied. As the teenager stepped from the train he stepped on his shoelace and fell flat on his face. The passenger quickly helped him up and asked, “Why didn’t you tie your shoe?” To which the teenager replied, “No one ever taught me how.”[1] Relating to the story above, the author diagnosed the current pulpits around churches like there are filled with a lot of “ought to” preaching. He points out that “we mistakenly assume that because a person knows the “ought to” that they also know the “how to.[2]” When I read that, I couldn’t help but admit that I’ve been on that side of “ought to” in many times in my ministry and in my life. As far as “how to” is concerned, I think we need to keep continuing to learn and practice in action with one another in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ. In doing so, I hope our church can grow and become a church where people actually can make disciples of Jesus Christ in their lives so that we can carry out the mission of Christ, the Great Commission together. “A disciple is one who knows Christ, is growing in Christ, serving Christ, and sharing Christ[3]” said the author. There are five areas in which we need to grow as Jesus’ disciple. There are worships, community, spiritual practices, generosity and service, and Christ-like. Those are the characteristics of a mature disciple. Sure enough, Jesus is God and perfect human being so that there are lots of works and constructions to do become like Him in our lives. Therefore, it is a life-long process. However, this is the way, the life, and the truth we should pursue. Wouldn’t it be great if we can invite someone to follow after Jesus and help them to live as His disciples? For this purpose, this week our church got started a new sermon series called, “Come, Follow Me.” We’re gonna explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ for next few weeks by following the growth of Peter as a disciple of Christ, landing on key pillars in the life of Peter. I pray that this series may equip and empower us to become “fish for people” as Jesus desires. Sounds difficult? Let’s not respond that way. Because we Methodists believe God’s prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. That means God’s grace is always ahead of our lives. God’s sustaining, enduring, and forgiving grace will hold you up and keep you until the day we see Jesus face to face. Out of the faith, let us take our step to where Christ calls us. Blessings, Pastor Heewon [1] Junius B. Dotson, Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregation (Nashville, Discipleship Ministries, 2017) Digital Edition, p.8 [2] Junius B. Dotson, p.9 [3] Junius B. Dotson, p.25