When I was in college I was fortunate enough to have a man not only impart the Gospel to me, but also his very life as well (1 Thes. 2:8). I would not be the minister I am today without his investment in my life. In fact, being his disciple for two years has had more impact on the way I do ministry today than my seminary education did.
Unfortunately, I find my story to be a rare one. Whether in the lives of the college students I work with on a regular basis, my peers, or even other believers who are older than me, few have been discipled. Too few. Alarmingly few.
How can this be? It is one of the most fundamental elements of being a follower of Jesus – and yet there are few who are being obedient. How are we okay with this? Simple. We’ve come up with some really good excuses. Actually, they’re really lame – but we seem to think they justify our obstinance. Here are 10 that I hear all too frequently:
1. “I’m too busy / I don’t have time.”
2. “I don’t know where to start or what to do.”
3. “I’m discipling my children right now.”
4. “I haven’t been asked to disciple anyone.”
5. “I’m not a leader / I’m not worth following / I need to get my life on track first.”
6. “I just don’t want to.”
7. “I teach a Sunday school class, that counts – right?”
8. “I thought the church was in charge of coordinating that.”
9. “I didn’t know I was supposed to.”
10. “I’m praying about it.”
These are all very lame excuses for not obeying the heart of Jesus’ command. In the next several entries, I will explain, first, why these excuses are lame and, then, offer some suggestions on how to begin making disciples instead of more excuses.
Have you heard other excuses that aren’t on the list? Do you see the same lack of discipleship in the church?