Discipleship: Not Another 12 Week Course

What comes to mind when you think of the word “discipleship?” For most of us (self included) we usually tend to think of discipleship as another class the pastor, or teacher of the assimilation process, has created to let us know more about what it means to become a member! Discipleship is not membership!

Discipleship is life on life, it’s pretty simple. Mike Breen,author and president of 3DM says, “Just simply fold people into your everyday life…” Do what Jesus did. He has perfect balance of life, education, practical application, and correction. Revelation-Imitation-Innovation-Correction

There are tons of pastors asking this question today, “We know we are supposed to make disciples, but, really, we don’t know how.” So we generally default to another 12 week course, dissecting what someone else has written as his/her interpretation of what they don’t know about discipleship, and the cycle continues.

Discipleship is not a 12 week course…hold on to your panties…it’s a life time course! Discipleship is eternal. It’s like saying, “take a course for a couple of weeks and you’ll know all there is to know about your wife.” Yeah right! Marriage is an eternal discovery about the opposite sex! You’ll never know all there is about your spouse. So relax and enjoy the journey!

Same with making disciples. It’s a lifetime adventure. It’s like having children, they are always your children, even though they grow up and mature. They never stop being your children The same holds true with discipleship. The disciples were always called disciples. They never once were called Jesus. Other than when they were made fun of and called “little Christs” We still call them disciples, isn’t that interesting?

Here’s what we are learning. In order for the church to look like she should, it should be filled with disciples and not consumers. We have swallowed the lie of American Marketing, and thought this should translate to the church as well. It shouldn’t. I’ll refer you to my friend Christy Inama’s blog for more on that.

Jesus said make disciples not consumers. Referring to Breen once again, “If you make disciples you’ll always end up with a church, if you make a church you’ll end up with consumers.” I think we can look around our nation today, and see that we have done a poor job at making disciples and a great job at making consumers. My thought is if we cared less about our big budget buildings, large “on stage” performances, spinning every plate possible for the entertainment of the masses, and more on building people,  we wouldn’t be fighting a marriage agenda, or trying to legislate morality. Disciples act like Jesus. We’ve made disciples that love consumerism. So maybe we have made disciples, just not of Jesus.

What is it going to take to turn this ship around? Is it too late? Is this why we have left the pulpit, and have fled to Capital Hill to save us? Do you really think that one president over another would have made a difference? We are in moral failure as a nation because we as the church have failed to reproduce Jesus. So now we are reactive. We are behind the “8” ball and are knee jerking to make sure we don’t lose america. We need to wake up church and start doing what Jesus told us to do. It’s not that hard…

Jesus’ last command was to make disciples. We’ve lost something along the way. We commercialized our pulpits and sold out to the message, “Bigger is better”. I like Jesus’ method of church growth…”Don’t tell anyone!” Why is that? I believe it was because he was more interested in raising up his 12 men than having 12,000 followers. 12 disciples can do more in the earth than 12,000 consumers. ANYDAY. We are growing at KeyStone, but it’s not because we are advertising, we are growing because people are really interested in real relationship. I think my guys love the fact that I spend time with them at a pub, over a pint, talking about life…OUTSIDE OF SUNDAY MORNING! Shock!! I think that’s what Jesus would do.

As a pastor, I had to ask myself, “What kind of people are we going to have at KeyStone Church? Are we going to file people in every Sunday, sit them down, spoon feed them the word, and then send them on their way?” No, I don’t think so. We are going to be a church known for folding people into our everyday life, we are going to clean our Mormon neighbors house, and feed her children, and bring her kids to church with us while our children’s ministry plays at the park. We are going to serve our community, and have a blast doing it!

I think the introduction of the microwave oven is one of the most fascinating things invented in the 20th century. I remember when we got one, it took up 1/3 of our kitchen, but man you could cook an egg in 30 seconds! I fear we have translated a lot of our discipleship into microwave thinking. Just shove as many people into a course, turn on the desired timer, and presto! Instant disciple.

Turn the dial to lifetime commitment… “IF you make disciples you’ll always end up with a church, [it’s the natural by-product of disciple making], if you make a church, you’ll end up with consumers.” Thanks Mike Breen! That statement has changed the way we think about KeyStone Church, and it’s changed the way we think about discipleship.

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