A New Discipleship Model Needed?

Time to revamp discipleship methods? Some experts say, ‘Absolutely, yes’.

I came across this during my regular reading. Here are a couple choice nuggets:

But now (Roy) Edgemon says it’s time for Baptists to take a fresh look at their approach to discipleship. If they don’t, he said, their churches are in danger of continuing to reach people but not turning them into devoted followers of Christ.

Baptists’ weakness in discipleship has weakened the denomination, including a wane in evangelistic zeal, he said. And proper discipleship encourages people to pray for those who lack a relationship with Christ and to share the gospel with them.

One of the churches in the article actually gives every person in their congregation a spoon every year to remind them that they are personally responsible for feeding themselves spiritually.

The rise of postmodern thought (like it or not; agree with its validity or not) must force all churches to rethink the manner in which they accomplish the task of making disciples. Silos of ministry can no longer stand. Discipleship must be a part of every aspect of the church. It is done in the context of a small group bible study, a local short term mission trip, and it is done over coffee with a buddy at Starbuck’s.

What do you think?


~ by bchatcher on January 9, 2008.

3 Responses to “A New Discipleship Model Needed?”

  1. I think its time for the church to be the church.. tear down the walls.

  2. Hey, Hatcher, have you read “The Emotionally Healthy Church” by Peter Scazzero. It is a touchy-feely approach to discipleship that got pushed at the National Pastors Conference a few years ago. Our former pastor had us read it. It was all about how churches ought to help people get in touch with their emotional realities if we want to have any real spiritual impact in their life. He claims that emotional health should be the foundation of our discipleship.

    I’m all for emotional health, and I think the guy makes some good points, but I also think discipleship has to be a lot more than just helping people feel better. And I think this is where a lot of our big modern churches are missing it. I think we have gotten so focused on making people comfortable and helping them feel good about themselves that we are missing out on real spiritual transformation. We are missing out on what I would call real discipleship. Instead of helping people become more like Christ we seem to just be helping them feel more comfortable with where they are.

  3. I haven’t read that one. Discipleship for years has been separated out from other disciplines in the church. Evangelism, missions, and community service are all vital aspects towards developing spiritually. The church must push its members to discover their unique spiritual makeup and find their place of passion in order to serve. This is within or especially outside the walls of the church.

    Scazzero may be close on the emotional realities. I would argue that people need to dig into their personality, learning styles, and giftedness to find out who they are. In other words, they need more than a spiritual gift inventory and a pat on the back.

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