by Stephen Bedard
My biggest concern about the Church today is the lack of discipleship. From what I read about Christian ministry, the focus is on getting people into the church. Whether it is seeker sensitive or emerging church or mega-church programs, the hope seems to be if we can get church desirable enough, people will want to be there.
Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing seekers come to church as much as anyone. It is pretty hard to do discipleship if there is no one to disciple. But I also think there are some long range implications for discipleship if the church keeps lowering the bar to get people in. We should seek to bring people into the church, but we should also have a plan for what to do after they come.
The goal of the Church is not to create attenders, tithers or ministry participants. It is not even to create program volunteers, although that may overlap with the true goal. The great commission commands us to make disciples. Every church would accept this in principle. But what is the plan to make disciples? I think many churches just hope that it will happen. The pastor may teach on the importance of mentoring and then hope someone will get it and decide to mentor a new Christian. Many churches likely are seeking some discipleship goals through small groups. That can be a means but attending a small group does not equate discipleship. Most small groups (from my experience) are primarily about fellowship and support. Those are good things but they are not the same as discipleship…
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