Thursday, August 28, 2014

You Can't Teach Discipleship

You can't teach someone into a disciple, though many churches try.  In the "great commission" Jesus told his disciples to go and "make" disciples.  When we look back at how He made disciples we see many things.  First He made disciple-makers, not just disciples.

Teaching...certainly that is the beginning.  God's word should always be the foundation. One must have the information and fully understand it before moving forward without confusion.  This is however the extent of most of our discipleship training these days, if churches even have it at all.  If I teach someone what they ought to do and they can repeat the instructions correctly back to me, this is called learning.  At this stage many church leaders believe they have done their part to "equip" the people.  Discipleship is more than learning however.

Modeling.....the learners need to see and hear about examples of the desired behavior.  Leaders your people need to often hear examples of you facing situations and acting the right way.  Do you want your people to share their faith?  They need to see you do it and hear you tell stories about sharing yours on a regular basis.

Involvement.....Jesus included the disciples in His ministry.  He allowed them to do certain things while under His care.  Then came a time that He sent them out own their on to put what they had learned and saw into practice for themselves.

Accountability.....this is rarely found in church any more. Jesus held His disciples accountable.  He expected a certain behavior from them and rebuked and corrected them when the situation called for it.  We don't see anywhere in scripture where the disciples got mad and left the group when they were held accountable.

Cost.......spiritual growth always comes with a cost but it is always worth it.  First there is pride.  Are you open to being mentored?  If someone is serious about discipleship it will cost them time and a shift in their priorities.

It took three years and the Holy Spirit's presence to make disciples out of those men.  When a church is determined to make disciples many will not go with you beyond a discipleship class.  Only a few went with Jesus the whole distance.  We must take the few who are serious and invest all we have into them. Then instill in them that they are to do the same. This is how disciples are made.