The following is an article from the blog of Dr. Virgil Grant. Virgil is the senior pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Richmond Kentucky. He has attended both Immersion I and II with the training team here at Real Life Ministries, and is sharing today his thoughts about Relational Discipleship.
A couple years ago the Lord allowed Eastside to intersect with Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. Since then Eastside has been on a quest to make “relational discipleship” at the heart of who we are and what we do. I would like to share several of my observations regarding “relational discipleship” as we have been journeying down this road.
What is relational discipleship? Here is my definition, relational discipleship is about real people sharing real stories about real life with biblical truth and intentionality. Notice there are several key components of this definition. First, its about people being transparent with one another. Second, relational discipleship is about being intentional in conversation and intentional about weaving the Word of God into the conversation. Relational discipleship is about journeying with people and allowing the Word of God to be the guiding force in the relationship.
Learning about relational discipleship is easier than living out relational discipleship. Reading about relational discipleship and attending Immersion 1 and 2 Conferences was the easy part of the journey. The hard part is now living out what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you. Presently, I am seeking to live out relational discipleship with the people in my life (i.e. family members, staff team, developing an inner circle, small group, and in everyday conversations). I wish I could tell you that it was easy but it’s not. Relationships have a tendency to be very messy and therefore require a lot of time.
Stay tuned as I am just now wading into the actual relationship components with the various groups above.
About Virgil: I began full-time ministry in 1990 and became senior pastor of Eastside Baptist Church, Richmond, Kentucky. I have been involved with Next Level for the past five years providing leadership development and training for the SBC. I graduated from Cumberland College, Williamsburg, Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1990, a Master of Divinity from Southern Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky in 1996 and a Doctorate of Ministry from Columbia International Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina in 2003. I am married to Rosemary and have two children, Rachel and Jacob.
You can read more from Dr. Grant here: Dr. Virgel Grant’s Official Blog