The “Complete” 2020 Discipleship Guide - The Steps
by Dr. Dave Coryell; C.E. USA - Executive Director, World C.E. - General Secretary
“49% - The share of Millennials who identify as Christian, according to Pew Research Center, making them the first non-majority-Christian generation in American history.” -World Magazine
In yesterday’s blog I broke down what that statistic means for the church. Essentially, we have failed and something needs to change in the way we disciple youth. Here are 4 steps to begin shifting the way we think about discipleship.
Admit That You Are Not OK
Yes, you may be OK with your personal relationship with Christ, but the world is rapidly sinking into secular living while we justify that we are OK and that by grace we are saved and have done our part. Here is the sobering truth, WE WILL NEVER BE OK THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN!! The Disciples were not OK. The early church was not OK. These people were drawn to Christ and followed Him because they realized they were not OK. They desperately needed a savior and found him in the person of Christ. We need Him too, but first we must realize that we are not OK without Him.
See Discipleship as a Communal Journey
The words “Individual” and “Discipleship” cannot and should not ever coexist. Our individualistic society and lust for separation from people drives us deeper and deeper into activities, secluding us from encouragement, accountability, and admonishment. We only receive the Biblical indication that one disciple secluded himself; this was Judas and things did not end well for him!
Involve Active, Passive & Reflective Individual & Communal Growth
Discipleship has become incredibly passive. We attend a worship service, donate to the church and certain ministries, and occasionally serve. Most of these activities are incredibly passive. We need some passive learning: this includes Bible teaching, daily Bible reading or study, listening to pod-casts or online messages and connecting to Christian blogs. All of this is good, but it is not “Complete” Discipleship. Disciples are also active. They serve others freely, share their faith openly and worship God with the people of their church regularly. On top of this, they take moments to reflect upon their journey with people they trust. In Christian Endeavor we champion the five practices: Pray, Study, Serve, Share, Worship. Other approaches will have their own catchy phrases. The key is to actively do the work of God while engaging God’s word. While doing this, invest time reflecting on what God is doing through you and in you on the journey.
Check Your Progress
There is no “Complete” Discipleship model. There are incredible organizations that offer insight to guide you on the journey. None of them by themselves provides your discipleship answer. All of them offer a guide to help people check their discipleship progress. For instance, Orange is an organization providing incredible discipleship curriculum and resources for all ages in a church. LifeWay curriculum does the same thing from a slightly different perspective. Orange, LifeWay or a host of others: all amazing resources, all painfully incomplete if someone believes a curriculum will provide a solid process. Sticky Faith, a product of Fuller Seminary’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry department champions inter-generational ministry. The Sticky Faith guide is amazing. God has used this to help many churches strengthen their discipleship process. Unfortunately, Sticky Faith by itself will leave people wanting more because it is incomplete.
In Step 4 I stated that there is no "Complete" Discipleship model. So how does C.E. factor into the world of discipleship and how can we help your church? Find out in tomorrow's blog!