How the Church Totally got Discipleship Wrong

The Great Debate: Evangelism vs. Discipleship.


Someone approached me and asked, “Which one is more important? Evangelism or Discipleship?” Some are focus more reaching, reaching, reaching. Some are focus more deeper, deeper, deeper. Surely both are important!

The tension that we find, is that some churches excel in reaching up a large number of disciples. Others are known for their developing strong quality of discipleship. We’ve witnessed in cases of goth extreme that has gone extreme and attacking one another. So as a conclusion, we very often go to the safe route by saying, “both are important!”

However, if someone were to insist and persist with me, I will have to choose Discipleship between the two.

Discipleship happens in critical levels, not only in the top level of it but all throughout the culture of a ministry. If we don’t disciple, then we are not really stewarding our roles very well if we don’t creates leaders for our role.

Here are three reasons churches must focus on discipleship more so.

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1. Reproduction: Quality vs. Quantity?

Our focus as a church is not a quantity of disciples but quality of disciples that we are often seeking.

Ministry in general has been that if we take care of the quality, then God will bring the quantity in. If you take care of the depth, God will take care of the width.

Ultimately when we look at the Great Commission, Jesus told His followers to make disciples, not converts. Conversion is just the first step in being a disciple.


2. Volition: Follower vs. Consumer?

“Look, if you tell me you’re a follower of Jesus and you’re not helping others to help follow Jesus, I just don’t know what you mean!” 

Somehow the way we see Jesus loves others and gave himself to others, that means that we have to give ourselves to others at our expense for the sake of others. Give yourself away to others rather than taking others for yourself!


3. Systematic: Mechanical vs. Organic?

Discipleship is life on life, not so much mechanical as much a green house that there is organic at the center of it. We are reproducing in us what has been given unto us to others with spreading the gospel on every level.

On a practical level, core-level of discipleship plays in the everyday lives in different situations. So we are sharing the gospel with those who are around us (You are in a sense sharing! But it is organic!) We are showing what the life of Christ demonstrating and identifying what it means to be with Christ.


What Does Discipleship Look Like on a Day-to-Day Basis?

Seeing Christ in us and following Christ whatever career that they live in! A business man, as a mother, as a student on campus. What does prayer look like? What does purity and holiness looks like and being intentional in every way. In every level of context, how does that saturate those who are around us, how can we invest and mobilize them to send to the ends of the earth?

The essence of the disciple making is serving the world and serving the kingdom of God.

Seeing from an overarching vantage point, we can do both; Evangelism & Discipleship. But when the two values collide, discipleship must always win.

We christians (disciples) have been given the joy and privilege of leadership development and equipping the saints! Your success as a disciple of Christ is not something you do; but it is someone you disciple to be a disciple maker who makes disciples. 

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