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

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