Connecting to God and others

We at Lebanon United Methodist Church (LUMC) believe that our purpose is to
“Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
A disciple of Jesus Christ is a fully committed believer who is intimate with God and other Christians, a person who is growing in their faith, and are servants in the kingdom of God.
Discipleship making is a process.

Connecting, Growing, Serving

First, LUMC seeks to connect people to God and others. Our desire is to see people become” connecting believers”. Next we challenge “connecting believers” to become “growing believers” by engaging in opportunities for deeper spiritual growth. The process continues by “growing believers” committing to become “serving believers.”

A follower of Jesus whose life is centering on loving God and loving others. So, what does this mean?

As Christians, we want to ground the definition in following Jesus. What does it mean to follow Jesus? It suggests that you are attracted to Jesus and his teaching. It also suggests you believe who he, and the church, says he was and that you are willing to trust him for your personal salvation. There are other beliefs, such as those contained in the Apostle’s Creed, that some would say are essential, but for now we will just focus on belief “in Jesus.”
But is belief enough to be considered a “follower of Jesus”? The word follow implies something that is done with your feet, not just your head. Action is required in order to be a follower of Jesus. What kind of action are we talking about? The Gospels tell us in three different places that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and the second is like it; love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:25-28). Based on this, we have described this action as loving God and loving others. In other words, a disciple is one who makes God’s love real in the world.

The really interesting thing about trying to link belief and action is that they don’t really ever change at the same time. But when they are put together, the miracle of transformation happens. Sometimes belief is enough to change action; sometimes action happens first, and then we figure out what we think about it. But when we understand what we believe and live out those beliefs by loving God and loving others, we are really followers of Jesus, whose lives are centering on loving God and loving others.

Being a disciple is essentially about being in relationship with Jesus.