When the Christian leaders of the 21st century compare notes they wonder aloud why we have so few genuine followers of the Lord Jesus. The crowds that attend on Sunday mornings seem to be made up of spectators rather than committed practitioners. So, there is a revival of interest in producing disciples of Jesus. It’s the “next big thing” even though it’s very old…Book of Acts old. The first thing we do is focus on comprehensive classroom programs that promise depth and diligence, character and zeal.
I’m not a skeptic but I am skeptical about this knee jerk educational approach to making disciples. My reason for doubt? We often have tried the academic approach to making disciples in the past. We call the churches that do this well…”teaching churches”. But, by any accurate measurement, churches that increase the academic programming as a means of discipleship are using a recipe for under-performance. If we are honest, we must admit that our people do not usually live lives that match the level of knowledge they have gained from our instruction. In the next blog I will offer another way to make disciples.