Despairing Discipleship

It’s an easy target these days to criticize how pastors and churches in the past never discipled anyone.

If we spent half the time that we have spent criticizing how others haven’t discipled people and instead invested that time to actually disciple others, we would start fixing our problem.

The desperate need for discipleship seems to be a cyclical point of conversation within our churches. Every so often, we begin to notice the warning signs concerning the overarching lack of spiritual maturity among the majority of believers, and we seem emphatically determined to address it. Upon these alarming realizations, we speak very poignantly regarding the need for discipleship by criticizing those before us who apparently did an insufficient job.

Instead of belaboring points of why specific ministries failed to prioritize discipleship in the past, I think it is a wiser use of our time to activate the church around us for discipleship in the present. Let’s return to the simple paths of discipleship encouraged and exemplified within the pages of Scripture and make a valiant effort to imitate it.

If you really want to make disciples, here are some essential reminders to avoid despairing discipleship:

  1. Spend more time discipling people in the present than criticizing people in the past.
  2. Don’t wait till you are an expert before making an attempt.
  3. Acknowledge that people in the past must have done something right since discipleship is still going forward.
  4. Learn from mistakes in the past but don’t dwell on them.
  5. Take advantage of the opportunities you have with those around you.
  6. Acknowledge that you aren’t perfect yet, but that won’t stop you from helping another make progress.
  7. Follow Jesus and play the long game of discipleship.

Let’s make disciples.