I (Erich) recently came across an insightful article, which lays out the failure of the Western church to make reproducing disciples. I believe that more than anything in the church (sermons, classes, programs, Bible studies, prayer meetings, etc…), there is a desperate need for men and women of God to invest significant time into the lives of younger / less mature Christians. This idea is fleshed out in the linked article, entitled
Reimagining Disciple Making
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Here are a few key quotes from the article:
[quote]Nondiscipleship is the elephant in the church. It is not the much discussed moral failures, financial abuses, or the amazing general similarity between Christians and non-Christians. These are only effects of the underlying problem. The fundamental negative reality among Christian believers now is their failure to be constantly learning how to live their lives in The Kingdom Among Us.1
~ Dallas Willard[/quote] [quote]Jesus’ words are commissioning his followers not merely to make converts to or to give lectures on a belief system but to do with others what he had done with them, following his pattern and model. There is no substitute for this. [/quote]
[quote]C. S. Lewis was on target when he said that the paramount purpose of the church was to create little Christs. He said, “If the Church is not doing this, then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible, are a waste of time.”2[/quote]
The central question every Christian needs to be able to answer is:
“Who are you discipling?”
If you cannot answer with the name of at least 1 individual, you need to start obeying Jesus.
1. Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (San Francisco: Harper- SanFrancisco, 1997), 301.
2. Will Vaus, Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 167.