Jesus invites us to follow him. His earliest followers were called disciples. Today, we might use the word “trainees”. Jesus trained them to be like him and do what he does.
That is our goal for The Russell School of Ministry. We want every student to grow in learning Jesus (knowing him more and more), being like Jesus (taking on his character and habits), and loving like Jesus (putting his love, mercy, and justice on display).
While this may be a big, lofty goal, it’s not a complicated one. Jesus trained his followers by simply bringing them along with him. They learned the rhythms of his life.
We see those rhythms clearly in Luke 6. We see Jesus stepping away from the crowd and his friends to spend time alone with God. Then he returned to choose the twelve men he would train (disciples) and live with in daily community. Then, he ministered to the crowd through healing and teaching.
Jesus practices these three, core life-rhythms. He enjoyed God, together with others, for the good of the world. This is Jesus’ way of life.
A disciple is someone who enjoys God, together with others, for the good of the world.
This is what we will be doing this year in The Russell School of Ministry. We will gather together with a small group of people every week to practice the way of Jesus. Some meetings will focus on enjoying our relationship with God. Some will focus on growing in our relationship with each other. And other meetings will focus on being good for the world. While we are growing in Jesus’ way of life, we will also be learning how to help others grow. Our goal is for every participant to be prepared to lead others in their second year of school.