What is accomplished by concealing the importance of discipleship in our churches? 

image_9b7df5d3-be13-4f81-807b-e8fdf9758ebc.img_7318

Some subtle alterations take place when churches fail to grasp the balance that needs to be maintained concerning conversion and discipleship. Consider these:

    Churches over-focus on evangelism while the role of discipleship fades away into confusion. Evangelism must be followed by discipleship if the church is to be filled with Christians who are growing and maturing in their faith.

Satan doesn’t shutter in fear when we become believers in Christ. It’s our being discipled that sends shivers up his spine!

image_bbe5c1b3-ead6-4677-af23-7931ce348581.img_7321

     New converts are often left to fend for themselves as they face the world and encounter life’s challenges. Without the counsel of a discipler, we fail to learn that God’s plan is to take what Satan means for bad and turn it into good. Romans 8:28

     Consider what often happens to new adult converts. Too often they are given responsibilities within the church by virtue of their physical age, not spiritual maturity. In the physical world, no one would expect an infant to teach a class of adults! No wonder many face burn out and/or disillusionment. They need to be a learner; not a teacher. Many leave the church because they were put in just such a position. 

image_20998b6d-e6af-47de-b552-5dfe3f5f3c08.img_7326

     Without discipleship, our churches are likely to be filled with immature Christians. These baby Christians, simply put, are suffering from failure to thrive. Due to their immaturity, they are easily deceived and manipulated by Satan. They haven’t been taught how to recognize the truth from a lie. Which is why fiery darts can be so deadly in these cases.

image_80ffda99-a872-4862-91aa-4321e5f1fd88.img_7315

Fiery darts of Confusion dull our understanding of these terms

Conversion births us into God’s kingdom. Discipleship means to allow God to form our lives, our real, everyday, actual practices, choices, and beliefs – to look more and more like Christ.

Conversion and Discipleship are the two parts of the whole. Conversion is all about the birth and Discipleship is all about growth after the birth.

Disciples making disciples go out into the world impacting for Christ the systems we create and participate in. (and that makes for a better world for all.)

 

2 thoughts on “What is accomplished by concealing the importance of discipleship in our churches? 

  1. i pray you will reconsider and rethink what you are saying here. I really don’t think the church is overemphasizing evangelism. In fact, hardly any of them talk about it at all, anymore. How many Christians go their entire lives without ever sharing the gospel of Christ even one time? Most of them. Those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ will be thrilled to be in heaven no matter how immature they are. The need is not less evangelism, but more evangelism AND more discipleship. If an orphanage was burning, you would be appalled if someone said, “We should not rescue the children because there are already enough children that are not being adequately provided for. Saving these children will only compound the problem.” If the church is not doing an adequate job of discipleship, why does that mean we should stop evangelizing? Besides, it is Jesus Who saves a soul, not us. Are you suggesting He needs to stop saving people until we can catch up on the discipleship front? I know that’s not what you mean, but that’s the message nonetheless. I have actually heard people say that if you can’t do adequate follow up and disciple a person, then you shouldn’t share the gospel with them at all. I am a sister in Christ whose husband is an evangelist, and I’ve been hearing this same type of thinking for over 50 years. If satan can convince the church that evangelism is overrated or unneeded, then he has won a huge battle. Talk about a fiery dart! Jesus died to save sinners like you and me. I think God no one stopped to think about whether or not I would be adequately discipled before they shared the Good News with me.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Shelia, for your input. I think basically we are in agreement. We absolutely need more evangelism and more discipleship. I am sorry that my words implied that we need less evangelism. That certainly was not my intent. My prayer is to highlight the imbalance in our efforts to evangelize and to disciple. I am 71 and I was not discipled until recently. By going through the process myself, I am preparing to help others avoid the deception and manipulation that came dangerously close to destroying me due to my spiritual immaturity. Again thank you for your comments. You made excellent points that I want to keep in mind so as to be clearer in expressing mine.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s