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December 24, 2010

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I am super interested in this topic of environmental discipleship. As you described it I began identifying the ways that environmental discipleship played important roles in my conversion to Christianity as a teenager. Fascinating! I am curious, though, in what ways this form of discipleship could be manifested.

Actually, Kessia, I believe that the last part of most of Paul's epistles outline how environmental discipleship should be manifested. He tends to talk in the first part of his letters about our relationship with God, and then in the last part about how we should relate with one another.

If you want to do an interesting study, search the New Testament for all the verses with "one another" or "each other" in them. You will find hundreds of texts that explain how the loving environment in which we relate together as God's children should manifest itself--everything from not gossiping to not being too pushy at potlucks :-)

It's also interesting to note that the aspects of discipleship that focus on deep Bible study, and transformational exercises are primarily about the first "great commandment" --Love the Lord your God with all your heart. But it is the "coming alongside one another to equip and encourage" type of discipleship (environmental) that fulfills the second great commandment--Love your neighbor as yourself. We often create a very unloving environment when we criticize one another for the way they are or are not "growing in Christ." I could go on and on.

Primarily, if ones discipleship is truly "heart work" it will spill over very evidently into the environment in which we "administer grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10, NIV) to one another. We are to be God's grace conduits to come alongside one another to equip and encourage to spiritual growth and good works. To my way of thinking, that is how environmental discipleship manifests itself.

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Memory, Meaning & Faith is a blog covering Christian history in light of contemporary issues.

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