Published: 8 years ago

Defining Discipleship

Over the last couple of months I’ve been a part of a team from our denomination’s state convention that is attempting to launch a discipleship initiative for churches in North Carolina.  Some of the conversations have been downright shocking and heart breaking as I’ve realized how many churches there are that truly don’t have a process or plan for what to do with people who follow Jesus. (Disclaimer…not the churches represented by the people I’ve been meeting with, but other churches.  You know, led by a guy that my friend used to know that one time.)

Let me be blunt: if you don’t have a plan in place to grow Christ followers, shut the dang doors. Or bring in someone to help you.  Or read a book.  Or attend a conference.  Or – gasp! – read the Bible.  It has a plan or two in there.

If you’re a pastor, it’s your job.  It’s your calling.  Your calling is not to plan spaghetti supper fund raisers or make sure the youth group doesn’t stain the carpet in the fellowship hall or to drive the van so the senior adults can raise their cholesterol at the buffet.  Your job is to grow disciples.

Your church is not a social club.  It doesn’t exist for itself.  It had better not exist solely for people who are already there.  If you’re not reaching new people and introducing them to the gospel, shut the dang doors.

Soap box over.  So how would you define discipleship?  I know how I define it…I want to know how you or your church defines it.  Keep it to Twitter-length sentences, please.  Ready?  Go.

3 Comments.
  1. Zack says:

    “Your church is not a social club. It doesn’t exist for itself. It had better not exist solely for people who are already there.”

    Woo! Preach it brother Franks!

  2. Paul says:

    Discipleship is the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others… I wish that I could claim that I was the first to say this, but that honor goes to mulholland (unless he got it from someone else as well).

  3. spenceshelton says:

    “when christ calls a man, says bonhoeffer, he bids him come and die. there are different kinds of dying, it is true; but the essence of discipleship is contained in those words.” (foreword to Bonhoeffer’s cost of discipleship.)

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