Discipleship redefine

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I am finishing up writing my thesis. The next step is to edit and format. The aim is to finish by the end of January.

It is unbelievable that the thesis is almost complete.

Something that is grappling in my heart is how the church needs to relook at discipleship.

Right now, we treat discipleship as mass production. Everyone goes to Sunday School or a Bible Study. It is a classroom style.

Now, I’m not against the classroom setting. Haha, one of my best experiences is teaching Bible classes in Africa.

However, that is not discipleship.

Discipleship in the Bible is not mass production. It is one-on-one or in a small group and an intimate setting. Jesus is taking 12 individuals and living with them day in and day out for three years. It is walking together, eating together and living together.

It is based on a relationship.

That is discipleship.

In the book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church . . . and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman, he described discipleship as more like a furniture artisan creating furniture. The goal of the artisan is to create a unique piece of furniture that is different from anything else. He is not into Ikea, mass produce, the same furniture through and through.

We should treat discipleship like an artisan makes furniture. It is customized. It is unique. It takes time, a lot of time. And that’s ok. We are not in a rush because we are making a masterpiece.

Attending a class does not equate to learning. After all, each of us is different and unique. We excel in one area and need help in another. Learning is when we take what we hear, wrestle with it, and apply it in our lives.

We often define someone in church as spiritually based on how many classes they took. The more, the better. The problem is that we only measure attendance. Attendance is easy to measure, but it is a horrible metric to measure spirituality.

I compare this to those guys who go to the gym but do nothing but sit around and hang out. If you ever go to a gym, you will see them around. They will maybe do a set here or there but spend most of the time just socializing. If you base their fitness on their time in the gym, these guys will be professional bodybuilders. But time in the gym means nothing if you aren’t lifting weights and doing the sets you need to build muscles.

So what other metrics should we use? The fruits of the Spirits will be a suitable measurement. It is hard to measure because it is not just a number you can plugin. I mean, how do you measure kindness, or patience or ________ (insert fruits of Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23)?

I mean, there are other ways. But this should be a good start. I use that to measure myself. When was the last time I showed kindness or patience? Or do the inverse, was I impatient when I am driving?

Anyways, there is more I can talk about discipleship. But I need to get back in my writing.

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By Cliff

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