One word for 2011 – disciple

For the past three years, I have chosen three words to provide some direction. It has been a great exercise. And for the first two years, it was very helpful. This last year, however,  I realized that three words are two too many for me. I am too easily confused. I forget them. And, in retrospect, there was a gap between the three words – attuned, Jamaica, product – and what I my responsibilities are.

So for 2011 I have one word. Disciple.

Once, I defined a disciple as a person who chooses to allow the life and teaching of someone to shape his/her own life. People shaped by life-changing relationships. I’m still comfortable with that definition. And I know that I have written a lot about the disciples, about being a disciple or follower of Jesus.

What I’m wondering, though, as I begin this new year, is what would happen if I made disciple the centerpiece of what I do? What if I did everything I could to allow my life to be shaped by following Jesus? What if I spent my writing time and thinking time and teaching time helping myself and other people clearly and simply understand what following Jesus could and does look like?

Over the weekend, for example, I wrote two posts about how to follow better. (Here’s a one-page version of 8 ways to follow better.) What I realized (after the fact) is that those eight things would make great themes to explore this year. So I’ll be doing that. In as practical ways as I can. Because if we together  (assuming I can count on your interaction) were to put those eight processes into practice, this would be a remarkable year.

Disciple is, I know, both a noun and a verb. This year, I’ll work on both.

Here’s a video comment on the post and on 300wordsaday guides. Disciple (video).

12 thoughts on “One word for 2011 – disciple

  1. Sandi Brown

    —Isaiah 48:15-20
    Phil 4:6-7
    I reguards to turning with or away from Christ
    I feel my walk is like walking through water either with or against the current. Christ is alway surrounding me. When I am walking in HIs will I feel His peace….


  2. Frank Reed

    This was a tremendous help for me today.

    My word for the year is ASK.

    Ask questions of others like yourself, ask what I can be doing for the Lord, ask how I can be of service. Ask is an action word and Jesus was about action.


  3. Rich Dixon

    I also use the “three word” process (thanks Chris B.) to focus my efforts each year, but it never occured to me that “followJesus” ought to be one of the words. I’m wondering if that’s just assumed, or if I’m avoiding the consequences of what it would mean.

    I fear it’s the second hiding behind the first.

    To Frank’s comment: yes and no. Certainky faith must impact my actions, but I sense that God cares more about who I’m becoming than what I’m doing.


    1. Jon Swanson

      ah dear rich, but isn’t becoming a doing? not in the mindless activity way, but in the obeying way. Sometimes obeying is doing, sometimes the doing is nothing. I mean, I agree. But still I nuance.

      And the reason i picked disciple, in part, is exactly what you are saying. It’s 2 and 1.


  4. Frank reed

    @Rich My actions are an outgrowth of who I am becoming in Christ.

    I am not, however, spouting a works based theology by any means. Salvation is a free and amazing gift that is there for the taking if one truly believes.

    For too long my faith has remained inside and hidden. I can only know what actions to take by asking what He wants me to be doing for His kingdom.


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