In the research behind Transformational Discipleship we discovered that people are more likely to grow when godly leaders apply the truth of the gospel to their hearts. Instead of only teaching the commands found in Scripture, leaders who view discipleship through the lens of the gospel bring people to God’s grace as the foundation for the commands.
For example, throughout the Scriptures numerous commands are given for how believers are to treat one another. The foundation for these commands, whether explicitly stated or implicitly implied through the grand narrative of the text, is the gospel.
Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. (Rom. 15:7)
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. (Eph. 4:32)
Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. (John 13:34)
Leaders who view discipleship through the lens of the gospel don’t only hold Christ as the standard for acceptance, forgiveness, and love—though that is true and essential to remind people of their need for His grace—they also remind people of the greatness of God’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness expressed toward them. A gospel-lens leader views unfriendliness in a church as a gospel-integration issue and assumes responsibility to remind people of the gospel and its implications. As people are increasingly grateful for the truth of the gospel, their love, forgiveness, and acceptance of others will increase as well.
Adapted from Transformational Discipleship (B&H Publishing Group, 2012)