Category Archives: Discipleship

Reflections, ideas, and practical resources on disciplemaking

The Missing Piece in Making Disciples

 

Disciple-making is not something to be undertaken only in a classroom. It is also not something to be done only while sitting and drinking a cup of coffee or having a meal. Disciples aren’t just made in one-hour weekly meetings to discuss doctrines, Bible passages, or life issues. It may certainly can contain each of those things, but if that is all our disciple-making is, then we are leaving out one of the most important components of Jesus’ methodology: the with-me principle. Continue reading The Missing Piece in Making Disciples

Advertisements

The Introverted Disciple-Maker

There are two types of people in the world: those who are extroverts and those who are introverts. I am an introvert (an ISTJ for those who know Myers-Briggs), which is neither here nor there, but lately it’s become en vogue to flaunt one’s introverted-ness as a leadership strength (see here, here, here, and here).

Woo hoo. Power to the introverts.

Continue reading The Introverted Disciple-Maker

Discipleship 101 – The Biggest Obstacle

As my sixth class of 25 Forge students arrived this past week, I couldn’t help but notice what I consider to be one of the most difficult obstacles in making disciples.  As the students lugged their belongings into the apartments and began to get to know one another, I kept thinking about all that was involved in getting them here:  a lengthy application process, an interview, then an acceptance commitment, then several packets of information, lots of phone calls, scheduled arrival times, and, finally, a welcome dinner for the students and their families (just to name a few).

That’s when it hit me:  Continue reading Discipleship 101 – The Biggest Obstacle

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: Continue reading Top 10 Excuses for not Making Disciples

Resolution

I was talking with a friend the other day who said he was resolved not to make New Year’s resolutions for 2010. After commenting on the ironic way he put it, I asked him why. He said something to the effect of, “it’s just feels cheesy and unoriginal.” I’ll give him that one. New Year’s resolutions often feel trite to me too. It’s easier to not make any resolutions at all just so you can scoff at the losers who abandon theirs by February.

We all have to make the decision though, don’t we? We all know what they should be, but we’re not sure we want to go there. Half the battle with resolutions isn’t that they are cheesy or trite – it’s that I’m lazy and complacent. I’d rather keep the 10 pounds I gained this year, thank you very much. They were yummy! Losing them would not be so yummy.

So, I’ve decided to make some New Year’s resolutions – lots of them. Why?

1). Resolutions require reflection. Let’s face it, there wasn’t much that was spectacular about this past year. It was a crummy year for most of us and we are all ready to forget most of it. The problem is, I learn most from struggle, hard times, and even failure. When I reflect on this last year – hard as it was – I allow God to bring to my attention things that he wants to refine in my life. He reminds me that everything that happens is working together for good to conform me into the image of Jesus – and they shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten.
2). Resolutions are simple acts of confession. When we vow not to drink sodas in 2010, we are saying, by implication, “I drank too many sodas in 2009.” It is a healthy thing to admit failure – especially when our failures are destructive to us or those around us. The more I tend to hide my failures, the more prone I am to revisiting them again in the year to come.
3). Resolutions invite accountability. Invariably our conversations around the turn of the year always go something like this, “Soooooo, did you make any resolutions this year?” We sheepishly have to make something up on the spot because we either didn’t make any (and feel then like we should have), or we realize that if we share our real resolutions we won’t be able to cheat.
4). Resolutions require discipline. No one ever lost 10 pounds by accident, right? Any amount of life change we would like to see will not happen by itself. If we say we want to live a certain way (10 pounds lighter) and yet do not commit to a lifestyle that would lead in that general direction (eating fast food every day), it should be no surprise to us that our resolution was no resolution at all – just wishful thinking. When you think about it, all resolutions start out as pipe dreams, ideals, and wishes – and most remain that way because we lacked the resolve to see them through.
5). Resolutions never produce regret. So what if my resolve actually sees me through to the end of the year and I do lose 10 pounds? All of the sudden my resolutions aren’t as cheesy, trite or cliche as I was worried they would be. In fact, they are quite the opposite. No one would ever regret seeing their resolution to completion. Think about the ones that you know you should write down. Would you regret it if they all came to pass?

So, like I said, I will be making lots of resolutions this year. I’ll be calling them resolutions too. It’s too good of a term not to use: ‘agreement,’ ‘solution to a problem,’ ‘closure,’ ‘clarity,’ ‘reconcilliation.’

May your 2010 be full of resolve for the things you believe in most deeply. Happy New Year!