Becoming the Church: Lessons for Today's Disciples

Becoming the Church: Lessons for Today's Disciples

by Dalton Troy Rushing


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Living as a Christian in the 21st century is difficult business. As if loving God and following Jesus's commandments weren't enough, we are also called to live together with one another as the church.

What does it mean to be the church? How can we live together peaceably? Why do we bother with this old institution anyway?

In Becoming the Church, the Rev. Dalton Rushing looks to the first disciples to gain insights about how we are called to live today. This book will serve well as Sunday school class curriculum, personal devotion, or group study material, as it traces the development of the church in the book of Acts and makes real connections to our lives today.

From the Introduction:

The Christian Bible is a holy, difficult, confusing, enlightening book. In fact, the Bible is not just one book. It is a series of books, all ultimately written about God, but with different authors, themes, styles, and aims.

With such a diversity of books in the Bible, it can be difficult to just pick up the Bible and figure out what God is calling us to do today.

Even the most recently written books of the Bible were written nearly two thousand years ago, and while some books of the Bible are clear about how we should live, other books do not appear to be about us at all.

Because the Bible is so complex (more complex than we sometimes give it credit for), it is no surprise that churches and Christians all over the world have very different understandings of what it means to follow God, even though we are essentially all reading the same Bible. Figuring out how to be a disciple today, two thousand years after Jesus walked the earth, is difficult business. The world is so different than it was in Jesus's day. I have no idea, for instance, what Jesus would think of the Internet. Following a savior who lived long ago is not easy.

As we look the Bible to teach us how to live, let me share two pieces of good news. The first piece of good news is that we do not have to figure out how to be Christian by ourselves. In fact, one of the core messages of the Bible is that you cannot just pick up a Bible and go live as a Christian by yourself. The founder of my religious tribe, John Wesley, is quoted as saying that "'Holy solitaries' is a phrase no more consistent with the Gospel than holy adulterers." We are made for one another, and when we ignore the fact that we must do this work together, we are ignoring much of the Bible. If the Bible belongs to anybody, it belongs to the whole church, and we are called to figure this all out together.

The second piece of good news is that we are not the first ones to try and figure out how to live as Christians without Jesus available for questions and answers. The Book of Acts tells the story of the first disciples, as they struggled to figure out how to use the broken shards of their community after the Resurrection of Christ in order to fashion a new way of living. They had to become the church.

You and I continue this work of becoming the church today. In many ways, we are like the first disciples, stepping out into a strange land with a strange message about a strange savior. The Book of Acts is an excellent guide as we step out in the same faith as did the early disciples.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481257138
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/21/2012
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

The Rev. Dalton Troy Rushing is a provisional elder in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he serves as Pastor of Serve (associate) at Johns Creek United Methodist Church. His blog, The Inside Out Life, can be found at

Dalton and his wife, the Rev. Stacey Rushing, serve on church staff together as a clergy couple. They live with their daughter in Duluth, Georgia.

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