In a recent interview with Andy Crouch published in Christianity Today* (July 2006) the Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye, Assistant Bishop of Kampala, Church of Uganda observed that Evangelical Christians in America are often preoccupied with the great commission found at the end of Matthew's gospel: "Go and make disciples of all nations." This action oriented phrase has been the inspiration for many faithful mission efforts; efforts that are part of the great heritage of Gordon College and that have been seen the Lord's blessing. But there is a hidden danger when this command becomes an exclusive focus. We action-oriented, empowered 'doers' run the risk of rushing off to fix things elsewhere while neglecting to hear Jesus' initial invitation to be changed by him. What we need, suggests Zac Niringiye, is to hear again Jesus' call to "come and follow" before we "go and make." When we follow, we find that Jesus operates outside the center of power and opts for marginal places. It is in those places that we learn the power of God to change us true followers of Christ.
"Come and follow me:" what an invitation! But what does it mean follow Jesus? Jesus' words of invitation can be both comforting-- "come unto me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest"--and challenging--"if anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." How do we follow Jesus? And what does discipleship look like in the context of America or as a college student? These are some of the questions we will explore in Chapel this fall as we unpack the theme of Discipleship: Lives Worthy of the Call.
The book of Ephesians will provide the texts for my talks on "Life in Christ," "Living a Life Worthy of the Call," and "Standing Against the Enemy." I invite you to read Ephesians with me during this season as we grow in a deeper knowledge of the hope to which we have been called.
Gregory W. Carmer, Dean of Chapel
* you may read the full text of the interview at: http://www.christianvisionproject.com/