Our friend Alex Absalom of Dandelion Resourcing, along with his co-author Bobby Harrington, has written a tremendous new book — Discipleship that Fits — that helps church leaders create a discipleship model that works for your church, your people, and today’s world. They do this by doing a deeper dive into the five different contexts where God disciples us and calls us to disciple others.
Today, we’re wrapping up this series by examining the most unique context of all — the Divine Context.
According to Alex and Bobby, the Divine Context represents God’s direct interactions with us, His people, at a one-on-one level. In the Divine Context, we’re not focused on building our relationships with others, but rather on being alone with our Creator and Redeemer as He interacts with us in our inner world. In this context, we’re face to face with our true selves, as reflected in the infinitely loving eyes of our heavenly Father. If there were no ‘masks’ in our interactions in the Transparent Context, then in the Divine Context absolutely nothing is hidden at all. In the Divine Context, we are alone with God and, through the Holy Spirit, we learn about our identity and destiny and are deeply immersed in the truth.
And this Divine Context interaction helps equip us to better connect and engage with each other in each of the other four contexts.
Jesus Himself said he could only do what He saw the Father doing — which meant He had to find time to be alone with the Father to learn what God was doing in the world (John 5). He frequently got away by Himself to pray (Mark 1) and to seek God’s guidance before making major ministry decisions like calling His 12 disciples from among his followers (Luke 6).
The Divine Context is modeled for us throughout the Bible in the times people related to God and how God spoke to them in turn — Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jonah, Daniel, and Paul all heard directly from God in the times they sought His presence in the Divine Context. They received key insights into their identities, their destinies, and God’s truth as it related to their lives and experiences. And those same insights are available to us when we enter into the Divine Context with God today.
When you’re a church leader, the time you spend in the Divine Context quite literally fuels your ministry efforts in every other context. Make sure you’re cultivating a strong daily devotional habit and practicing spiritual disciplines. Take those you lead with you on regular spiritual retreats where you can engage in the Divine Context, then share what you believe God’s telling you in those moments. Teach your people about these themes in message series. Raise the bar by asking those you lead to be accountable regularly for their spiritual lives and what they’re hearing from God in their times in the Divine Context. Then watch what God will do in and through your people.
To get a copy of Discipleship that Fits for yourself, just click on over to Amazon. Or you can connect with co-author Alex on Twitter. For another look at the five contexts, check out this infographic.
Alex Absalom leads Dandelion Resourcing, which empowers leaders, churches, and denominations to build more effective disciple-making cultures. He is also the leader of missional innovation at Grace Church Long Beach, CA, an avid tea drinker with his wife, and, with their three sons, a huge fan of Liverpool FC. You can connect with Alex on Twitter at @alexabsalom.