The “New” Discipleship Challenge

Jesus’ commission to his followers to make disciples seems to be a rediscovered challenge for many churches these days. Not that we have been unaware of the great commission; but a quick evaluation brings recognition where churches are lacking. “ Our Lunch and Learn in January focused on this topic and, as a result, a cadre of pastors and church leaders will be meeting monthly to continue the discussions and sharing of lessons learned.

With this in mind,  we invite you to respond to the following question – let’s have a discussion on this.

What is the single biggest impediment to discipleship in your congregation?

8 thoughts on “The “New” Discipleship Challenge

  1. Stephen Crumpler Reply

    Fear of rejection. Evangelism Explosion class a number of years ago in my church and the main reason people didn’t sign up was Fear of rejection or they couldn’t share their testimony because they couldn’t put it into words. The testimony was my stumbling block but after putting things in order and cutting out the unnecessary stuff I found my testimony wasn’t as boring or stupid as I thought. Fear is our biggest and most common problem. Over coming it is easier than admitting it.

  2. Doug Post authorReply

    We (the church) have been guilty of “bait and switch” for many years now.
    The message we’ve been giving out is “if you want to go to Heaven, just accept Jesus as your Savior” with no explanation of what that really means. Then when we’ve got them in the pews, we wonder why they look so confused at us when we seem to be telling them they have to change their behavior to be acceptable.

  3. Alan locke Reply

    Another problem is” dipping and dropping”. For some reason it is when we tell them what they need to do, after they they are saved and baptized, we don’t follow up. There are some young belivers that really don’t know what to do. If we don’t spe

  4. Alan locke Reply

    Another problem is” dipping and dropping”. For some reason it is when we tell them what they need to do, after they they are saved and baptized, we don’t follow up. There are some young belivers that really don’t know what to do. If we don’t spend time helping them grow, when the first blast from Satan’s storm, the new believer will be blown away. We used to call it “training union” to help disciple people. It doesn’t matter what we call it, a person dropped is a person left alone to fend for themselves. The mentoring, one on one, is a wonderful way to work with new believer. Alan Locke

  5. Richard Taylor Reply

    Setting a culture for discipleship in your church

    “Culture” is such an overused buzz word these days. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I’d like to explain how I would use the word in a church setting:

    Culture is the environment in which you live, breathe and experience life. It’s how you see and maneuver in your world. It’s kind of like describing water to a fish. It’s like that distinctive smell of your grandmother’ house; which she is oblivious to. The culture in a church can be very similar. If you are immersed in it long enough you may not even be aware of it anymore. And churches, all churches have a unique culture. This “culture” within a church is built by the foundational and deeply held values the church lives by. They are shared not only with pastor and leaders but the congregation as a whole. These foundational values will determine how you answer questions regarding teaching, calendar, manpower and financing.

    I am afraid that very few churches have a culture of discipleship even though making disciples is the mission Christ gave his church. (Please prove me wrong – please) Setting a culture of discipleship within a church is difficult work. For an existing church to make that shift can be very painful; knowing how many good things for which a we can get involved. But when discipleship becomes such a high value that all decisions are considered based on the priority of disciple-making there will be miraculous stories of changed lives. A level of excitement and anticipation will emerge so that people look forward to what God will do next. There will be people wanting to take roles of leadership. The church will thrive.

    Determining your churches process or program for disciple making is important. A customized and contextual program will have great impact. And there are many good and effective resources. But there is much more to disciple-making than an eight week class or your preaching. As leaders we must see a bigger broader picture. Our churches will be so much more effective when believers are immersed in a culture that

  6. Jim Presnell Reply

    It’s a good question, and not an easy one to answer. I think the biggest impediment to discipleship at Rock Hill rest at the feet of we who claim to be disciples. Failure to trust, to rest in God’s grace, to pray, to risk, to deny self – each of these come to mind. Learning the way of Christ – trying to live as Christ would if he were us – requires that we be fully surrendered to him.

  7. Richard Taylor Reply

    After our Discipleship discussion last Thursday, I came across this quote. Please feel free to push back or offer your own thoughts.

    People of every generation ask, “What is the meaning of life?”Honestly, here it is: To live and serve with Jesus, who brings the reign of God. It is discipleship. As we live for and with him, he remakes our hearts and enables us to participate in his joyful, powerful, penetrating action to transform our world. This is worth living for. It is even worth dying for. Whatever our lives were before, now Jesus has called us to himself and to his healing project. Through Jesus, God moves to overcome every evil and to alleviate every misery – progressively for now through our involvement as disciples and decisively later when Jesus comes in glory and righteous judgment.

    From John Hiigel’s book “Partnering with the King”

    This month (March 24) we begin a discussion on what a curriculum of discipleship would look like in the church.

  8. georges Reply

    Richard,
    I really like this descriptive way of identifying discipleship to Jesus.
    I like the simplicity.
    I like the theology: It is Jesus who brings and makes available the kingdom of God not human effort
    I like the emphasis on the heart and its transformation and that being a catalyst in the transformation of the world.
    I like the way the before and after Jesus calls us to himself as being about much more than managing my sin problem.
    I like that it doesn’t leave us out of the equation in participating in the work of the kingdom.
    I like that it is eschatological.
    I like that it is anchored in a theology of the kingdom of God breaking in and finally consummated in Jesus.

    I also love the way the discussion is heading on March 24th. I”m excited to be part of this.

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