Should I Lower the Bar or Raise the Bar for Potential Disciples?

Should I Lower the Bar or Raise the Bar for Potential Disciples?

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In a previous post, I encouraged you to meet with F.A.T. Christians (If you missed it, click here). 

You may be asking: “Should I enlist the first person who approaches me about participating in a Discipleship Group or should I be selective?”

First of all, your time is valuable. Whether you are a college student, single parent, stay at home mom, part-time employee, or full time business owner, time is irredeemable. You only get 86,400 seconds each day. When they’re gone, they’re gone, so spend them wisely.

Since the time with your group is limited, making the most of it is crucial. You must be judicious in selecting group participants (Obviously, grace must permeate the process).

But, Don’t take my word for it. Let’s consider how Jesus responded to three would-be disciples.

Jesus expected His disciples to follow His example of commitment to the Father. Luke recorded Jesus’ interaction with three men on the roadside (Luke 9:57-62). With misguided expectations, the first potential follower assumed Jesus was a superstar rabbi who enjoyed the luxuries of the best hotels. But Jesus sharply corrected his self-serving view, replying, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).

Because of misplaced priorities, a second would-be disciple was willing to follow Jesus only after his father died. Recognizing this man’s desire to receive his inheritance rather than forsake all for the Kingdom of God, Jesus sternly answered, Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59).

Finally, a third man approached Jesus. On the surface, his request appeared sincere. “Jesus,” he said, “I will follow you, but first let me say farewell to my parents.” Seeing through the man’s empathetic words to the real motive of his heart, Jesus tersely replied, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:61-62). This man had a misdirected focus

We can draw 2 Walking Points from these encounters.

1. Jesus must be first in your life. He will never settle for second place. He demands unwavering commitment. You must love Him supremely, above everyone and everything else.

2. Jesus Never lowered the bar for would-be disciples. He Raised it.

Should we respond any differently?

What are your thoughts? 

Robby Gallaty is the Senior Pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. He was radically saved out of a life of drug addiction on November 12, 2002. In 2008, he began Replicate Ministries to equip and train men and women to be disciples who make disciples.

He is also the author of Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples (2013), Firmly Planted: How to Cultivate a Faith Rooted in Christ (2015), Rediscovering Discipleship: Making Jesus’ Final Words Our First Work (2015), Foundations: A 260-Day Bible Reading Plan for Busy Believers (2015), and The Forgotten Jesus: How Western Christians Should Follow an Eastern Rabbi (2017).