The word “discipleship” is a common word that is thrown around and can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Being one of the pillars of our organization, it is important that we clearly define what discipleship is and how we are going to implement discipleship into the lives of the Ambassadors that God gives us each year. We are known as a “discipleship baseball team.” What does that mean?
Well, before answering the question of discipleship, we need to discover what a true disciple of Christ is. In John 8:31 Jesus says, “If you abide in my Word, then you are truly my disciples.” So then, in short, a disciple is one who abides in the Word of God. A disciple is one who holds fast to the Truth of the Word of God. A true disciple of Christ is a true believer of Christ. There is not “second-stage Christianity” where you are a believer and then you obtain some level of disciple later. No, if you are a true believer of Christ, then you are a true disciple of Christ. One of the tests of your belief is that you abide in the Word of God.
Do you abide in the Word of God? Do you remain there constantly? Do you love the Word and the words of God?
So, being a disciple is being a true believer, a true Christian, and abiding in the Word of God. For us to implement discipleship in our organization, we will have three points of focus: Confessing sin to one another (James 5:16; Psalm 32:3), Prayer and encouragement (Hebrews 13:3; 1 Thess. 5:11), and Memorizing Scripture (Psalm 119:11; Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:1-11).
Confessing Sin to One Another
This is one of the most difficult things to do as a Christian because we want everyone to think that we are a perfect Christian and that everything is okay in our life. Even though everyone knows that everyone is struggling with something, we all convince ourselves that if we can just “fake it till we make it” then no one will know that we are struggling.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
One of the biggest impacts of the Ambassadors is the accountability partners program. This is a program where each of our players is teamed up with another player in an attempt to hold each other accountable for staying in the Word of God and fleeing from sin and temptation. We are commanded to confess our sins to one another, and that is difficult, but as a brother in Christ I know that, “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working,” but how can one pray for his brother unless he knows how to pray?
We must be open and vulnerable about who we really are and not wear a mask and convince people that we are okay. We all need help. We all need prayer. It is time to face that fact.
Prayer and Encouragement
The second part of our discipleship as an organization is seen in our prayer and encouragement to one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
It is so important that we encourage one another in our daily walk with Christ. This is something that is really cool about the OKC Ambassadors. As 16, 17, and 18-year-old young men, these players are able to see other young men in the exact same place in their lives walking with Christ as well. This in itself is a real encouragement to know that each of them is not alone.
We want to teach each of our players to encourage one another, not only in the game of baseball, but in their Christian walk daily. This is something that each of us needs!
Joshua 1:8-9 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The last portion of our discipleship program is memorizing Scripture. As Joshua says, we should meditate on the Word of God day and night and it should never depart from our mouth. We should be able to protect ourselves from temptation by quoting Scripture just as Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-11.
Our players will be taught to memorize Scripture and implement the Scripture into their lives in a way that will help them in their daily walk with Christ.
When people talk about the OKC Ambassadors, they say we are a “discipleship baseball team” and it needs to be clear what exactly that means. As we journey together through our 67 days of being a unit, we want to be a really solid baseball team that can go toe-to-toe with anyone on the diamond, but we also want to be able to go toe-to-toe with any temptations that come our way and this can be done through our discipleship program.
Please pray for the hearts of our players and coaches as we prepare to go through our discipleship journey this summer. Please ask that God do a work in all of our hearts, and that we would grow closer to Christ this summer than we have ever been before!
Justin Sullivan, ALWF