by Tim Stevens, Executive Pastor
“Discipleship” is the new rage. Every church conference seems to be focused on discipleship. Every leader is trying to figure it out. Every church member is asking, “What does this church offer for discipleship?” And every pastor is leaning in to figure out what it is, how to measure it, and what they are responsible for. And I’m included in that list. I’m joining more than 5,000 leaders in a few weeks at the Exponential Conference called “DiscipleShift.” The topic is so popular that the conference sold out weeks ago (you can still tune in to the free webcast).
I wonder if sometimes we over-complicate the issue. Have you seen the new AT&T ad campaign where a bunch of little kids sit in a circle and answer questions? They say something crazy or off-the-wall, and the narrator follows up, “It’s not complicated.” I think we need a little dose of childlike thinking regarding discipleship.
Sometimes we get so mired in the nuances of our argument that it paralyzes us from getting anything done. We sit around arguing the when, where, how and what–and we fail to inspire people to get on the path and start moving.
I’ll admit that sometimes I’m pretty simple, but this is how I look at it:
- A disciple has his feet pointed toward Jesus and is moving.
- A disciple-maker is intentionally taking someone else along for the journey.
- A mature disciple doesn’t require anyone else to continue taking steps with and toward Jesus.