At First Baptist Knoxville, our discipleship philosophy is rooted in the teaching and model of Jesus. As a community we seek to be
Disciples Who Make Disciples
We believe discipleship is not a single moment in time but a life-long pursuit of Christ, who molds and shapes our hearts, minds, and values. Discipleship is not a single portion of our lives but the overarching and all-consuming call of our lives. Who we are as children, parents, leaders, workers, and in every other role of our lives, falls under the broader identity of being a disciple of Christ. As a congregation, we strive to create an environment where we can encounter Christ’s transforming presence, help one another live God’s unique call for our lives and families, and invite others into this life-long journey of discipleship with us.
We see this model of discipleship throughout Jesus’ ministry. Early in his gospel, Mark tells us:
“Jesus went up on the mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designated apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”
Jesus called the twelve to him; and once they responded, He “appointed” them disciples. Today we think of appointments on our calendar or the appointments of public officials; however, the original Greek carried a much more organic and artistic meaning of appointed, suggesting that there on the mountainside, Jesus “fashioned” the twelve, like a potter molds clay or a carpenter shapes wood. Thus, we also should be fashioned as Jesus’ disciples and sent out to invite others to do the same.
Matthew tells us the following about the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
Having been molded and shaped by Jesus, the disciples are sent out to make disciples, bringing others into relationship with God by teaching all they had been taught. We believe God continues this work Jesus began – molding, shaping, transforming – through the work of the Holy Spirit and other believers. We are both learners and teachers, always growing to become more like Christ.
Following this path, First Baptist’s ministries and programs serve the core vision of becoming disciples who make disciples. We are shaped toward this end in our four-fold expression of life together: Worship, Mission, Community, and Discipleship. In everything we do, we strive to encounter Jesus, be shaped by Jesus, and help others do the same.
We would love to have you join us in this journey. If you have questions, please contact a minister.
Looking to find a place in our community to continue your faith journey? Check out one of our discipleship groups.
 Richard I. Deibert, Mark, Interpretation: Bible Studies, 21.