Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Christian Studies) - MA (CSt)

Department

Theology

First Advisor/Committee Member

C. Edward Smyth, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus of Educational Ministry

Keywords

Vocation—Christianity; Bible Mark i 17; Christian life; Teacher-student relationships; Mission of the church; Missions; Discipling (Christianity); Evangelistic work; Witness bearing (Christianity); Self-sacrifice; Spiritual formation

Abstract

The call of the first disciples reported in Mark 1:17 provides significant commentary on the essential attributes necessary for authentic life changing discipleship. In His words, "Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men" Jesus establishes a paradigm for discipleship that is at once an invitation into a master/student relationship (i.e. "Follow me") that would engage his followers in a transformational process (i.e. "and I will make you become"), that would eventuate in their being shaped for a specific vocation (i.e. "fishers of men"). In this prototypical summons, these elements of following, becoming, and out-reaching should be viewed as the indispensable DNA of healthy disciple making. This paper explores how the vocation of self-giving for the purpose of communicating Good News to others is the essence of "fishing for men", and not only how the gospel reaches out into the world, but is also the primary catalyst for the formation of Christ's image in his followers.

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