Why Passion Isn’t Enough For Discipleship

Ben Sternke:
I grew up going to Bible camp every summer. It was an amazing time, and I loved the experience. Through the worship, the teaching, the team exercises and the fun, my passion for Jesus was renewed each summer. The last evening of camp I was ready to go back home and tell all my friends about Jesus and see amazing things happen! But it seemed that in the span of the four-hour drive home, my passion had oozed out like the air in a leaky balloon. I made myself a snack, watched some TV and went back to life as usual, wondering how I had felt so differently less than 24 hours ago. Passion alone wasn’t enough to sustain my discipleship. Listening to the predominant narrative of modern evangelical Christianity, you could get the impression that passion is all we need to live a life of discipleship to Jesus. If we can just become passionate and enthusiastic enough, we will have the fuel we need to fulfill the Great Commission and live the way of Jesus. It’s a “Bible camp” mentality that continues into adulthood for most of us, I think.
This is why I am so passionate about discipleship. Our methods of the past haven’t worked. Are Bible camps good? Absolutely. Are they enough? Not even close. Did Jesus have a follower’s camp? No, He said follow me. It’s life on life. A week long camp isn’t enough to sustain a student for the year. They need the camp, along with constant training, accountability, and much prayer. Passion isn’t enough. We must train for the race.