I think that the church is confused with the goal. How do I know this? Because I am a member of the church. I am not talking about my local body, though we are guilty as well. There is as old discipleship addage that says that Jesus loved the world, He helped many but He trained a few. The hidden implication in the phrase of “He trained a few” is that He trained a few disciple-makers. (emphasis mine). We have embraced a mission of having a salt-and-light approach for ministry. This is intensly Biblical but in my opinion is a statement of how we are to relate to the world not the goal of our ministry efforts. My favorite radio station has a station jingle that I love that says we should have a “positive difference”. I do not disagree one whit but making a positive difference is the starting point of the mission. The destination is making disciple-makers.
But the church not only stops short from the goal by focusing on making a positive difference but it also stops short by focusing on making disiples verses making disciple-makers. Don’t belive me start asking around about how many disciple-makers are in your church who not in the clergy and you will probably find that the church is full of disciples who don’t have a clue as to how to make a disciple. The harvest is plentiful but the disciple-makers (laborers) are few. Why is that? We have been so busy making disciples that we forgot to make disciple-makers. The funny thing is that an organization that makes disciples has an easy hop to making disciple-makers. We have to make the goal adjustment and then start focusing on it.
2 comments on “The Goal is Disciple-Makers!”
The Resurgence had a blog post today entitled “Why Discipleship Isn’t the Answer” and it made some good points. In short, it stated that the Gospel, not discipleship, is the engine of the church. And then it linked to a site called GospelCenteredDiscipleship. I think the author of the article would, essentially, share your views.
Jesus said, go out and make deciples. My understanding is simple, you make deciple makers to make deciples. That is what Jesus did, and we should follow His leadership.