Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me". (Matthew 16:24) Anyone who follows Christ will cultivate certain habits through which God molds the disciple. Disciples at Concordia cultivate these habits so that the Holy Spirit will work in our lives.
The disciple receives God's grace through His Word and Sacraments. In this way, God delivers the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to all who come to him. All of this happens in worship, where the disciples gather to be connected with God by his grace.
The disciple studies God's Word as taught by the proclamation of the Church. Through His Word, God forms the mind and soul of the Christian to understand God's Will and to do it. At Concordia, we do this primarily through short-term, small group bible studies where each participant can grow to know God's Word and each other.
The disciple serves in the ministry of his or her congregation. Each disciple uses his time, talents, and treasure to support the ministry of the congregation. As a member of the Body of Christ, each person has different gifts as given by the Spirit, and each person uses them for the whole.
The disciple invests in the lives of others, both inside and outside the congregation. The disciple cares for the needs of body and soul in his or her home, work, community as well as in the church. Through Worship and Word, the Holy Spirit works faith and forms the mind of Christ in the disciple. Through Work and World, the believer lives out the faith by serving the church and the world.
The first and most important habit of a disciple is worship. In worship, Christians participate in a dialog with God. God comes to us, and we respond.
God comes to us through his means of grace: Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and His Word. In worship, we remember our baptisms, where we were claimed as children of God, we receive his word of forgiveness in the absolution, we hear him speak to us through the Holy Scriptures, and we are united together in Christ through The Lord’s Supper. This is how God delivers his grace to us and establishes his relationship with us. This is why Lutheran worship is called, “Divine Service,” because God serves us with his grace in worship.
We also respond to God’s grace by using the words he has given us. Part of the habit of worship is learning to respond to God the way he would want us to. When God comes to us through his means of grace, we respond using his Word. The congregation responds together in the liturgy using God’s Word. Our worship service, or liturgy, is almost completely taken from the scriptures.
You can participate in our worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 11:00am as well as on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm. In the seasons of Advent and Lent, we hold evening prayer at 7:00pm.
Listen to Pastor Huenink's sermons on the Concordia Berwyn blog.
God speaks to his people through his word, recorded in the Holy Bible. God wants us to know and understand his word to guide us. As Paul writes to Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The second step in our discipleship process is studying God’s word in small groups. God strengthens our faith in worship, and he guides it through Bible study. We study together, because God works through other people to help us interpret his word correctly. Concordia offers a schedule of small-group Bible studies at various times throughout the week. Some studies meet in homes and some meet at the church. We strive to bring a variety of people together around God’s word.
You can see a schedule of our Bible Studies or register in the News & Events page.
The disciple serves in the ministry of the congregation. God has given each of us natural talents, resources, and other gifts, and he desires that we use them to serve others. Christians everywhere describe the church as the body of Christ. Because we are united in one body, the whole church needs to work together to make the body function.
We do this freely as a response to God’s free gift of grace given to us through Christ. The apostle John says it this way, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:9-11). Christ gave himself freely to us, so we freely serve. The discipline of giving helps us to practice living as Christ lived.
Every Christian is responsible for the ministry of the congregation. We support it through our weekly offerings and by giving our time.
The disciple invests in the lives of others. Through worship and word, God forms the heart and mind of a disciple to live and serve like Jesus did. The disciple sees the whole life of a Christian as service to one’s neighbor by caring for the needs of body and soul. Paul writes in Romans chapter 12, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” We are living sacrifices for the good of others, showing God’s love by word and action to everyone we meet. This means caring for people’s emotional and physical needs, but it also means sharing the saving message of Jesus Christ that brings resurrection from the dead and eternal life.
In our process for making disciples, we have three steps that are within the congregation: Worship, Word, and Work. We ask that each member contribute only one hour a week to each, and the rest is for service to the world. We call this vocation, where God cares for everyone through the people he sends to them. Christians can serve the world in a variety of ways: in their families, in their work relationships, in their communities, and in community organizations.