by Dr. Dave Coryell; C.E. USA - Executive Director, World C.E. - General Secretary
Nearly seven years ago my family moved into our current home. The house required several upgrades before we arrived with furniture including paint, new appliances, and a new roof. We noticed our gutter on the front of the house near a large birch tree was full of leaves, sticks and small plants. After we cleaned the gutter, my wife, Jen, and I decided to have a gutter guard installed to prevent further mess and labor.
Fast forward to this summer. I returned from a trip out of the country and unloaded all of my bags before one of our kids said, “Dad, I need to show you something.” The stern look made me think, “Oh no, some part of the house is broken!” I followed my child out the back door and onto our back porch. We turned as I followed the sight-line of a pointing finger to our gutter on the back second story section of the house. Multiple plants as tall as fifteen inches were growing out of the gutter! When Jen and I had discussed gutter guards seven years ago, we decided to pay for them to be placed on the places most exposed to debris from the tree. What we failed to think about was the possibility that over the years, enough random leaves and sticks could blow to the back of the house and cause a problem. In essence, our decision to use gutter guards on the front gutters was solid, but incomplete.
We have also applied incomplete thinking in our churches due to incomplete data in the area of discipleship. Over the last decade I have asked hundreds of pastors, youth workers, and concerned citizens about the discipleship plan used at their churches. The three main answer categories include:
We hire a youth worker or find a volunteer to oversee the youth ministry.
We have youth group, Sunday school and activities like retreats.
I have no idea or we have none.
Allen Hadidian’s thought from his book on Discipleship in 1987 shared that 95% of all churches have no plan to move people from being a new believer toward being a reproducing follower of Christ.
How about your church? How about your life? Is your discipleship approach incomplete? Watch for my next blogs where I debunk two valid, but incomplete approaches to grow young people as disciples.