Discipleship is a great word-- it depicts follower-ship of Jesus. As you know, I am down for that. However, it is a buzz word and I am afraid its meaning is getting twisted up a bit. This past weekend, I was really inspired by a talk Steve Murrell gave. Here is some of what he shared...
Discipleship was NEVER understood by the original disciples to mean "finding people already following Jesus and make them better at it". NO! It was clearly understood to mean "go out and find people that did not know Jesus and help them meet him and follow after him"! Jesus was not telling the disciples to go make Disciples out of Christians when he delivered the Great Commission. (Though it seems like this is our main goal with all the "discipleship programs" churches have for their already saved attendees.)
The separation of the Siamese twins of evangelism and discipleship was one of the Greatest mistakes the church could make. Now, we get hands saved. Not hearts.
And finally, discipleship is about the basics. If you want to make disciples, you need to make peace with routine! There's nothing new here....
- Engage lost People in love
- Establish them in community
- Equip them for ministry
- Empower them to GO do the same with others
And incremental becomes exponential.