The leadership in my church are beginning a new study that has certainly peaked my interest, and certainly got me thinking about how I do ministry.
This study is a 12 week, 5 day a week study on discipleship in the church, specifically speaking to leaders in the church. Each day adds on the previous days until you have a complete step by step understanding of what discipleship is and how it is done. This is not theology or doctrine, this is a ‘boots on the ground’ guide to discipleship.
As I have worked through the first couple days, I have had some serious time of reflection on how I define discipleship and how the church is doing in this area. I ask, ‘do I have a correct understanding of discipleship?’, ‘do I even know what it means to disciple someone?’ and ‘how is my church, specifically me, doing at discipling others?’.
I have to admit, I don’t think we are doing a good job here. Jesus gave us the command in Matthew 28 to ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…and teaching them everything I have commanded…’. I don’t think that we are preparing the people we bring into the church for the spiritual war that they are stepping into. They have not finished the race at baptism, they are only beginning it. So many times we dunk them and they let them loose, expecting them to figure it out on their own (maybe this is not a conscious choice, but I believe it comes across this way).
Is the job done there? Is our job finished at the point of conversion?
Jesus had a group of guys that He poured His heart and life into, preparing them to go do the same after He was gone. As leaders in the church, I don’t think we can focus so much on getting converts that we totally ignore those who desire and need guidance though this journey. People are in need of men and women to help them out, to show them that they are loved and cared about, not by the words we tell them, but by the time and energy we put into helping them grow.
I hope to continue to share this journey with you as I seek to better understand discipleship and it’s place in the church.
How do you define ‘discipleship’?
How is your church doing on discipling those who walk through her doors?
How are you doing at being a disciple that makes more disciples?