Radical Discipleship in Participation: Spiritual Formation in Baptist Community

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Linda Aadne


The missional church movement of the last two decades has awakened a vision for both outreach and social engagement through the mobilisation of the church. In Scandinavia this has also generated a focus on the importance of church planting endeavours in all denominations. While this development is positive, there is also a general consensus that the sustainability of churches is contingent upon the spiritual maturity and commitment of their members. Traditional baptistic emphases on mutuality, community, and accountability are being threatened by growing individualism and consumerism within churches today. In this article, I set out to examine core aspects of Anabaptist and Baptist ecclesiology and pneumatology in relationship to their potential for inspiring a re-visioning of the sacramental character of life in Christian community which can contribute to the discipleship of believers and the realisation of the missional calling of the church. When describing the task of discipleship, this article focuses on the web of ecclesiological convictions that are characteristically Baptist. Here I will present core aspects of Baptist ecclesiology that can collectively contribute to the development of a trinitarian and communal approach to discipleship that is founded on a Baptist sacramental view of the believers’ church. The scope of this article forbids discussion of the application of these principles in practice but provides insights into historical theological foundations for a baptistic communal approach to discipleship.

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Author Biography

Linda Aadne

Linda Aadne is a church planter and minister in the Baptist Union of Norway. She is also a college lecturer at the Norwegian School of Leadership and Theology and a graduate student at the International Baptist Theological Study Centre in Amsterdam.