Transforming Discipleship

by Glen H. Jones

Pastors and other church leaders are spending too much time on pastoral care and not enough time on making disciples. That succinctly states Greg Ogden's thesis. As a result of this neglect of discipleship training, churches have become filled with mediocre Christians with little understanding of what it means to be a fruitful believer.

The author believes that a New Testament church should be filled with biblically informed, caring people who share their faith outside the wall of the church building and who make a difference in society. Believers should be active agents rather than passive sponges. Current church leaders must change their primary focus from pastoral care to training others in discipleship.

How did Jesus select those twelve vital leaders who would lead after His departure? From those who were attracted to Him, He invited many to examine His claims. He walked and taught among them, letting them see His life and methods. From the many who followed Him, He eventually selected twelve disciples whom He called as apostles. He gave them intensive and extensive training for several months, gradually delegating responsibility to them. Finally, He announced His death; the entire movement would then be their responsibility.

Following this pattern, pastors will invite believers to investigate the church's discipleship movement. He will outline the rigorous requirements, not sugar-coating the demands of this high calling. Individuals will ultimately decide if they want to "join" the movement. The pastor will begin training by precept and by modeling discipleship expectations.

Pastor and people must both realize that this movement involves a life-long commitment. Some will decide that the demands are too rigorous. Others will continue maturing and begin multiplying other disciples.

Target: Committed Believers

Type: Discipleship Training

Take: Recommended

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