Top 10 Excuses for not Making Disciples

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?  

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Excuses for not Making Disciples”

  1. A question about this area, possibly that you're addressing in future posts, whose responsibility would it be to initiate discipleship? I've heard people who want to be discipled say “I want someone to ask me”, and the older ones “No one ever asks”. Just a thought, really interested to see future posts.

    [I deleted my first post b/c I spelled initiate wrong, obviously I need discipleship from an english teacher]

  2. David-
    Thanks for asking that question. It's a good one and not something I had planned on addressing in great depth in later posts, so I'll give my 2 cents here.

    Jesus' selection of the twelve helps me understand where the responsibility lies. Not one of the 12 approached Jesus and asked Him if He would disciple them. Instead, He hand-picked and called each one of them.

    The command to make disciples is a call to be like Jesus. Therefore, the initiation of discipleship is always the responsibility of the one who is supposed to make disciples (i.e. you and me). Jesus' command is not, “Go, therefore, and be made into disciples…” The New Testament has several examples of the older men intentionally imparting themselves to the younger men. In fact, I can't think of any Biblical precedent or example of a younger man seeking out an older man for discipleship.

    Hope that answers your question. Thanks for your thoughts here.

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