What’s a Baptist Discipleship flat?

By Grace Doak
I thought I knew what it meant to follow Jesus growing up. And to a certain extent I did. I went to church each Sunday, read my bible and served in church ministry – heck, I even went to bible college! Well, that was my idea of following Jesus through a very individualistic, very Western lens.

Two years ago, I moved to live with some extended family members in Rand­wick Park, Manurewa. I hap­pened to land in an inten­tional com­mu­nity. Not long after moving, I was hit with a massive con­cus­sion which can­celled pretty much any social, study or work life till all that was left was to par­tic­i­pate and observe this com­mu­nity. By the people and the lifestyle of the inten­tional com­mu­nity, my world was rocked and rad­i­cally chal­lenged. I realised that I had been living an incred­i­bly selfish version of Christianity.

It was here that I began to think mis­sion­ally. It was here that I saw God’s heart­beat for justice. It was here I learnt the value of being rooted in com­mu­nity. My heart broke for the vul­ner­a­ble and those on the fringes of society and I was stirred to com­pletely and utterly rethink what it meant to follow Jesus.

For me, Baptist Dis­ci­ple­ship flats is all about learn­ing (or relearn­ing) what it means to follow Jesus.

In a society sat­u­rated with indi­vid­u­al­ism and con­sumerism, Jesus calls his fol­low­ers to live coun­ter­cul­tur­ally. He asks that we live in a way that rad­i­cally goes against the current of our culture; to be deeply con­nected to com­mu­nity, to rede­fine our idea of success in life, to be Spirit led, to stand up for justice and to care for the vulnerable.

And what better place to prac­tise dis­ci­ple­ship than in living together?

The inten­tion behind Baptist Dis­ci­ple­ship Flats is to foster spaces where fol­low­ers of Jesus can be dis­ci­pled and learn to live coun­ter­cul­tur­ally for the sake of mission and the gospel. What dif­fer­en­ti­ates dis­ci­ple­ship flats from simply Chris­tians living together is four key com­mit­ments. These create a frame­work for inten­tional living and com­mu­nity to happen. The four com­mit­ments (or fires) are praying together as a flat, con­nect­ing with the local Baptist church, an expres­sion of neigh­bour­hood love and gath­er­ing with the tribe (gath­er­ing with other dis­ci­ple­ship flats in your region).

Prayer – All the flats pray on a Wednes­day. We do a rota­tion of common prayer, lectio divina and a devo­tional book and pray for our neigh­bour­hoods, flat­mates and churches.

Con­nect­ing to the local Baptist Church – It is impor­tant to state that dis­ci­ple­ship flats is not intended to replace church but rather work in part­ner­ship. The com­mit­ment to the local church may vary from flat to flat.

An expres­sion of neigh­bour­hood love – It’s time to dream! What does mission look like locally? The idea with this one is to connect with our neigh­bours and create rela­tion­ships through which we can share the love of Jesus.

Gath­er­ing of the tribe – so far these have been a high­light! This is a time of con­nec­tion with others involved in dis­ci­ple­ship flats. These are points of train­ing (eg. Build­ing rela­tion­ships in neigh­bour­hood), sharing and fun.

The beau­ti­ful thing about inten­tional com­mu­nity is that we pour out to each other and the neigh­bour­hood, but we are also poured into by the very same people. Outside of the struc­ture and com­mit­ments, there are so many unplanned pre­cious moments with neigh­bours and flat­mates, life giving time with God with others, and lessons we never thought we would learn on this incred­i­ble journey of fol­low­ing Christ. Some­thing awesome happens when we come into agree­ment with other fol­low­ers and God!

Contact me (Grace) if you are inter­ested in the process of becom­ing a dis­ci­ple­ship flat or want to know more!

Contact details:
Grace Doak (Baptist Dis­ci­ple­ship Flats Activator)
022 130 3557

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *