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Teaching (Discipling)

“Teaching “about” the Faith is not the same as “discipling,” a distinction the Lord Himself makes in His Great Commission: “Going, therefore, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [then] teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19,20). Teaching has a place, but discipling is essential. One is “begotten...through the Gospel” (1 Cor 4:15). Teaching must occur, followed by discipling. “Fathering,” which begets, must have the greatest weight within each disciple so that any rational learning about the Faith is formed in the heart…disciples mature as they imitate the living substance in their fathers-in-God - rather than as they accumulate mere facts from teachers.” (Dynamis 11/30/2019)

“The Gospel requires us to reach out with our faith, but at the same time it demands genuine consideration of others….Saint Paul approaches the Jews as a fellow Jew, and the pagan Romans as a Roman citizen. He does not compromise his integrity by bending himself like a pretzel, nor does he change his colors like a chameleon. Rather, he starts from the assumptions he shares with those he encounters. He finds a place to meet them on common ground…the apostle proposes approaching the mission of discipling others in a sensitive way, mindful of their personal spiritual orientation.” (Dynamis 1/5/2014)

“When his disciples express concern about the Lord Jesus’ ministry, Saint John [the Baptist or the Forerunner] sends two of them to the Lord so that they might witness that Jesus is the Christ (Lk 7:17-19). The Forerunner encourages these men to ask Jesus, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (vs. 20). Saint John does not resort to persuasion to convince his disciples, but rather tells them to search out the truth for themselves, based on Jesus’ own actions and words (vs. 19). We, too, should encourage others to investigate Christ Jesus for themselves. We need not sell Christ to the world as if He were a commodity. Faithful forerunners understand that knowing the Lord Jesus and His teaching firsthand is more powerful than any human testimony, so they plant questions and invite exploration.” (OCPM 10/5/2017)

“Disciple means “learner” and the word Apostle means “one officially sent on a mission….Despite the three years the Disciples spent with Jesus, they didn’t seem to understand His teachings in full until they received the Holy Spirit. It was only then that they were ready to be Apostles. Because He spent all of that time with them, both teaching them, leading by example, and developing relationships with them, they were prepared to receive. Teaching the faith requires more than just teaching. It requires investing in relationships and being a living example. This will help others open their hearts to receive the Holy Spirit.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 10:1-4, Sacramental Living Blog)

“The hope we share is a Pentecostal hope in the sense that we have been given the Holy Spirit to bring all into one unity through the fire of the Gospel that we preach throughout all the world, baptizing and discipling as we go.” (Father Andrew Stephen Damick)

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