Wednesday, November 9, 2011
First Church of IKEA ...
Processes don't disciple people, people do.
In today's church, we ask, "What process is in place to disciple new believers?" The question should be, "WHO is in place to disciple new believers?"
Leaving discipleship to a "process" is to establish a do-it-yourself system of discipleship; you lay out a process, and leave the new disciple to move themselves along to spiritual maturity.
There is no question that discipleship requires, and begins with, the new believer taking the personal responsibility to grow in Christ. But Jesus Christ gave the Church --- more specifically, its leaders --- the responsibility for doing the work of discipling those new believers in the faith:
"11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ," Ephesians 4:11-13.
Our churches are full of slick processes, but they aren't full of mature disciples. That's because we've replaced disciplers with processes, and reap the empty reward of doing so.
Do you have spiritually mature people ready to come alongside every believer in your congregation to disciple them to spiritual maturity? If not, you're either relying on a process, or ignoring discipleship altogether.