Do you want to be a part of the solution? Everyone I’ve ever met is looking for answers. Answers to their questions not simply just where to find an open coffee shop, but their questions about life …  but Jesus is inviting us to a whole new level. We know him as ‘the way, the truth and the life’, however, the implications of this reality go much deeper and further than any of us can first imagine. Jesus doesn’t simply provide us with the answers for life, in terms of direction and destination, he also expects us (yes you and I) to be a part of the solution. Don’t panic you’re not alone, but I do want you to enlist to walk alongside 332,000 others to be the solution our nation is crying out for. Let me explain …
How often do you get beyond solely listening to what God is saying? Listening is where we start from, but not where we’re intended to end. I’ve asked a lot of people, especially church leaders, the question: ‘what percentage of their people, do they believe, not solely listen to the Bible, but look to apply what they hear and do something about it, to the point they could tell someone else a week later? Maybe before you try and answer the question, based on your own observations, you might want to answer the question for yourself. 
Five percent is the collective average so far and I think this is probably generous – more hope than expectation. Either way, it’s not great and no leader has yet responded negatively to my challenge for them to double that percentage, across their own church, over the next twelve months. 
The Discipleship Cycle is a simple framework we’re using to encourage every Christian to get beyond listening. It looks something like this:
Listening – I consciously note the words from scripture, which are highlighted or stand out for me.
Looking – I answer the question where these words apply in my own life, or circumstances.
Living – I commit to acting on whatever answering the first two questions have taken me.
Learning – It either went well, or it didn’t, but what shall I embody in my life going forwards? 
I use the Discipleship Cycle App (download here) and review what’s collated in ‘My Journey’ once a week and take something I’ve previously noted forwards. Guess what? Growth happens. Small steps, which seem so minimal to not take me anywhere at the time, result in momentum. Small seeds, which appear so tiny to be unnoticeable at the time, are planted and begin to sprout. 
What many people don’t yet realise (do you?) is you can add any passage of scripture onto the App via the home screen. This means you can import whatever Bible reading plan you are using. Reading the Bible in a year, or two? Using a devotional guide? Reading slowly through a book? Whatever plan you have for reading and listening to God through the passages of scripture, you’ll want to do more than simply achieving your reading target. How often have I read something and five minutes later forgotten what it was? How often have I registered ‘that’s God speaking to me’ and then become distracted to the point nothing happens? Both still happen, but I am now embracing more of God’s purposes in and through my life, for sure. 
The Talking Jesus report tells us 6% of UK adults identify as practising Christians (‘practicing’ here = attend worship, pray and read their bible). 
This means if we can raise the bar to just 10% of practising Christians, on a weekly basis, not solely listening to what God is saying to them through the Bible, but acting on it, we shall start to see much more impact of what Jesus tells us we are: salt and light. That means roughly 332,000 people. 
If you haven’t already, download the Discipleship Cycle App today.
If you’re a church, or small group leader, enlist your team, group, or church to join you in being a part of God’s solution.

Nigel Coles

Nigel is Regional Team Leader of the West of England Baptist Network. He facilitates the life of the webnet team and oversees the missional strategy for the region. He also works to develop missional strategy over a wider geographical area with our partner Associations and Baptists Together. Nigel believes that when Jesus sent out seventy-two others, he meant everyone who was there, and this passion to help everyone find their way in the mission of God is what inspired the development of Seventy-two.