For many years even saying the word “discipleship” raised suspicion. It is tempting to feel stuck today where we were stuck in the past. We aren’t stuck there anymore and we don’t need to act like we are. We can openly talk about discipleship, not because we “got over it” but because it is in the Bible and it is perfectly biblical.
And we are talking about it. Lots of people are talking about it. Movement is happening. Traction is being gained. From the New Day conference to Renew.org and the Renew gathering to the work of discipleship.org and the National Disciple Making Forum…the discipleship movement is gaining steam. In an article two articles back, Scott Sager outlined how Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration (their lectureship) will focus on discipleship and making disciples this Summer. I don’t believe they will be the last. Other gatherings associate with Churches of Christ will eventually do the same because what God is doing is becoming so much in our faces it cannot be denied!
This is only just a start but it demonstrates that God is getting our attention. If you want to dwell on the past when it comes to discipleship don’t dwell on 30 years ago or 40 years ago (Crossroads)…dwell on 2000 years ago when making disciples was the norm. Dwell on 40 minutes ago when people all over the world were (and are) in Bible studies with non-believers. Movements are happening. The Spirit is working. The mantle of ministry is being passed from professionals to lay people. That is, by the way, the only way for a movement to be viral – you can’t have bottlenecks if you want to see viral.
It is all so refreshing and so hopeful. I am as hopeful about the future of Christianity as I have ever been in my life.
At a time when we point to so many things unhealthy in the way we “do church” here is something that is healthy. This is something Jesus told us he wants and somehow we turned discipleship into a teachings and attendance thing – we mapped his teaching onto our practice, rather than the other way around.
In the next 10 years we are going to see our people get healthier by engaging in this work. People are being trained right now and sent to make disciples, right in their own neighborhoods.
I asked God a year and a half ago to show me how to make disciples. I promised Him if he would show me, I would do it. People came out of the woodwork, unsolicited, to show me how. He will show you too. The resources exist. God put people to show us the way in our path decades ago – it is just now bearing fruit in our backyard.
So buckle up. Please be in prayer. Be in study. Read Jerry Trousdale. Read Kingdom Unleashed. Read Miraculous Movements. God is moving and His people are moving. I couldn’t be more excited! This is real. Watch and see.