I don’t often spend my blogging energy “ranting” about this or that. But, it seems, lately, that we as Christian Church leaders are getting a “bad wrap.”
To say that the Christian Church isn’t “making disciples” or is planting churches that don’t “develop leaders” right from the start is just not accurate. There … now I’ve said it.
All you have to do is look around. This notion that we’re not doing things “Jesus’ way” or somehow we don’t really understand the Great Commission is, well … in the words of an old mentor of mine from way back, “wrong-headed.”
So, what’s going to happen? Jesus will come back, look around and say, “You guys haven’t made disciples. So, you’re fired!”
Decisions based on data … right? Let’s look at the data. How do we know we’re not making disciples? As with any “system,” we must first decide what a disciple does and then measure it. As you guys know, I’m no Bible scholar, but from my reading a disciple, in no particular order, probably …
- Regularly Attends Church – They’re not there once in a while. They’re at services every weekend. They plan their hobbies and other activities so they can be there every weekend.
- Serves In The Church – Yes, that’s right. They actually “do” something in service of the church. There’s no such thing as “too busy” to serve in the church.
- Spends Time Studying The Bible – Understanding God’s plan for humanity is important. Right?
- Is In Community With Others – I would say most disciples are in at least one small group. Hopefully, they’re also in community outside the church (hanging with the neighbors, etc.) so they can share their faith.
- Evangelizes – You know. A disciple has got to be someone who shares their faith. A disciple is an “inviter.”
- Tithes – They don’t drop $5 in the plate when it’s passed. They give 10% of everything they make … at a minimum.
- Develops Leaders – A disciple is busy duplicating themselves and helping to add to the Christian leader count … continuously.
- Loves God And Loves People – Loving God not so much, but loving people is difficult, depending on the person. But, a disciple does both. And, by the way, loving people includes helping to meet their physical needs.
- Spends Time With God – A disciple does a bunch of praying. They carve out time each day for time with God.
I’m sure I missed a bunch, but you get the idea.
Can we measure the number of people doing all these things? Difficult, but possible. Is there enough? Of course not.
Obviously, there aren’t enough people doing all of these things. Therefore, there aren’t enough disciples. So, we need more. Yes, I think that makes sense. We’re making them, but we always need more. I don’t like the “absolute” language of late. You know what I mean. When someone says, “The Church isn’t making disciples.” That’s not accurate.
To increase the number of people doing all of these things, we need to invite them to church and invest in developing relationships with them. So, since we don’t have enough disciples and need more, we should probably work on getting more people to come to church.
Hmmm. Maybe the Christian Church should be more “attractional?”