Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, pastored by Bill Hybels, is one of the most famous churches in the world. The one thing Willow Creek prided itself on for 30 years was making disciples, providing an atmosphere where discipleship flourished. After a multi-year qualitative study of its ministry in 2010, Willow Creek issued a public apology. The one thing Willow Creek thought they were doing, they weren’t —making stronger disciples.
What does discipleship mean? What do disciples do? Two things. First, disciples follow Jesus. Second, disciples make more disciples. They reproduce. Disciples live and love in such a way that others want to join them in the journey of reproducing Jesus in the world. Imagine a church of 20,000 people in Chicago that thought they were growing and reproducing disciples and they really weren’t. Are you a disciple? Are you reproducing?
Discipleship isn’t discipleship without the replication.