We are in a Discipleship Crisis. I couldn’t help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed the mark.
The crisis is that it seems like we have a whole tower of Babel effect of what discipleship is all about. It seems as though we say the word, “discipleship” yet speaking of apples and oranges as if we were speaking different language to one another.
Why? Because our assumption is wrong, which leads to a shaky foundation that ultimately makes the entire structure falter.
Here are two false assumptions we have for discipleship.
False Assumption #1: Information Leads to Transformation.
We have for example our seminaries (which, I’m not against. I am a product of itself!) but what I am saying is we are a byproduct of something that has been in place that makes us swing to the other pendulum.
Listen to more sermons, read enough books, have enough devotional time, then magically as a result we are changed? That’s the human paradigm thinking (Read False Promises of Discipleship by Brandon Cook).
We look to Christ and realize he not only taught, but lead the disciples in real-life training on the field (Matt 17). Knowledge within itself puffs up and is not good.
Most Christian leaders today have a head full of information about the Bible. Most of us are educated well beyond our level of obedience. But knowledge without application results in less than radical disciples. The more we know, the less time we have to apply what we are learning. It’s not what we know that will change the world; it’s how we love others and share the gospel (good news) that will ultimately win back.
False Assumption #2: Activities Leads to Spiritual Maturity
We are living a paradigm that leads to a pattern of stagnation.
Going through the motions, checking off church responsibilities and opportunities like a check list and going to Sunday school, attend another conference, read enough books…etc Is being a Christian simply being involved with bunch of church activities? I knew there had to be more than that. Discipleship can’t just be filled with activities that magically allow disciples to be super-Christians.
There seemed to be a gap between these simple “Christian” thoughts and the eternal reality at risk. It made no sense to me. I mean, people are dying and going to hell without ever hearing the gospel of their own salvation.
Discipleship is simply this; Disciples are called to know Christ, grow with Christ, and go for Christ.
The process of making disciples for Jesus is called discipleship. This takes time. In fact, in this process, you will never be finished as a disciple of Jesus. You will always have room to grow and mature. This is a radical view to our churches.
Jesus Model of Discipleship: Christ-Centric Discipleship
Jesus just didn’t teach information nor just kept the disciples busy minded with bunch of activities, but he did life and trained them for the sake of carrying out the mission to the ends of the world.
We find this transformation tends to happen as people become committed, in ever-increasing measure, to three things; Christ, His Church and His Cause.
We have found that making these commitments help people to be in a place where the Holy Spirit can transform them, more and more, into extraordinary followers of Christ.