Many people have gauged success in Churches by the wrong metrics. Do you know what Three Roadblocks to a Successful Discipleship Ministry are? Defining success at the outset of a group is essential in a disciple-making relationship. Surprisingly, not everyone who talks about discipleship actually practices it. One reason for this is the ambiguity associated with the term. A. Boyd Luter, Jr. addressed the misconceptions of many about what “discipleship” means: “Many Christian workers view discipleship as an activity that is to take place apart from the local church and that has little relationship to the church’s major purpose.” On the other hand, many churches do not grasp what discipleship actually is. They view discipleship as merely one segment of what the church offers. Discipleship or disciple-making should not be just another offered program, Bible study, or box to check on the church’s program list. It should be the outflow of meaningful relationships built within the course of daily life, including at church, work, and in neighborhood contacts. Discipleship is a way of life. Mike Breen and Steve Cockram, in Building a Discipling Culture, wrote, “If you make disciples, you always get the Church. But if you make a Church, you rarely get disciples.” Another reason for the lack of disciple-making is the influence of the secular world upon believers. As Christians, we can easily fall into the trap of gauging success in the church by our buildings, the number of bodies present, and the size of our budgets. However, this mentality presents a serious problem: Jesus never gauged effectiveness by these criteria. During His earthly ministry, He never owned anything. In fact, our Lord never had a place to lay His head, much less a regular meeting place for His “congregation” (Luke 9:58). Additionally, Jesus never attempted to draw large crowds for the sake of counting heads. Although He spoke to the masses on a few occasions, He consistently departed to be with the twelve. Acts 1 records, that, after He ascended into heaven, only 120 disciples gathered together to pray for God to empower them through the sending of His Spirit. This fact defies all modern church growth standards. Jesus spoke with unprecedented authority. He raised the dead. He gave sight to the blind. He healed the sick. And at the end of His ministry, the church had grown only to 120 people. This is not to discount the miraculous work of our Lord, but to simply point out that Jesus was not interested in growing a mile wide and an inch deep. He focused, rather, on developing mature, faithful disciples who would go out and make more disciples. Stay Tuned for Part 2…. Head over to Discipleship University for a List of the Training Videos.
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