Discipleship is at the Center of the Christian Life

Worship is referred to as a “service,” and even Jesus himself taught the disciples that he came “not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). We’re all called to this vocation of serving in baptism, and as members of St. Stephen, we are partners in the mission of the baptized life.

The life of faith includes five Gifts of Discipleship: to LIVE among God’s faithful people, HEAR the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, PROCLAIM the good news of God in Christ in word and deed, SERVE all people, following the example of Jesus, and STRIVE for justice and peace in all the earth.

 What does this mean in practice?

 Living among God’s faithful people means actively engaging in St. Stephen life in worship, fellowship, service, learning, and giving. In this place, the life of faith is whole-heartedly lived out among the people of God.

 Hearing the word of God and sharing in the Lord’s Supper not only happens during worship, but also in Bible study, prayer groups, personal prayer, and in carrying the good news of the resurrection to all those who have yet to hear it.

Proclaiming the good news of God in Christ in words and actions is making the commitment to look at our world and culture through the lens of faith, and actively seeking to understand what it means to live according to Christ’s teaching and call.

Serving all people, following the example of Jesus, means reaching into the community and the neighborhood to be a reflection of Christ’s one-on-one love. We feed, we clothe, we welcome, we visit.

 Striving for justice and peace and all the earth is motivated by Jesus’ call to love our neighbor, which may sometimes stand against the status quo. “Justice is what love looks like in public,” writes Cornel West, and the baptized faithful seek out justice for Jesus’ sake.