Introduction to This Issue...
The very heart of what Mission is all about is embodied in the meaning of "Discipleship-- the theme of this issue.
The spiritual growth of the church is always threatened by a limited view of discipleship. Such a view tends to focus on the acceptance of a plan of salvation and reliance on one's membership in the "right" church; strong emphasis on regularity of church attendance --- often equating it with the single, distinguishing characteristic of "faithfulness"; constant warnings of the perils of certain social practices that are morally taboo --- often equating one's personal "morality" with is avoidance of these practices; and public condemnation of doctrinal errors seen in others. The unscripturalness and inadequacy of such a narrow view were pointed out by Donald H. McGaughey last month in his excellent article on "Following Jesus" (Mission, July, 1967, pp. 19-24).
The New Testament provides a full view of discipleship. It defines the Christian's relationship to Jesus in vital and uncompromising terms. Articles in this issue call for Christians to again personally encounter Christ in the Scriptures. In so doing they will more fully realize the meaning of his Lordship --- that no less than a full surrender is required. New and unconditional demands will be accepted with grace!
A restoration of this quality of discipleship is desperately needed in the church today.