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5 reasons why the discipleship deficit matters

Discipleship is an in vogue topic of conversation in a lot of the books and blogs I read.

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“The church in the West has largely forgotten the art of disciple making and has largely reduced it to an intellectual assimilation of theological ideas. As a result, we have a rather anaemic cultural Christianity highly susceptible to the lures of consumerism. This in turn works directly against a true following of Jesus. In our desire to be seeker-friendly and attractional, we have largely abandoned the vigorous kind of discipleship that characterized early Christianity and every significant Jesus movement since.”

Alan Hirsch, Forgotten Ways Handbook

5 reasons I personally am interested in discipleship

1. The Glory of God

God deserves to be worshipped by whole hearted disciples. Halfhearted immature disciples are an insult to the honour of God. I want to honour God as a disciple and to honour him by playing my role in helping to disciple others.

2. The Missing Generation

We have a problem in that only 3/100 believers in church UK is in their 20s. This is a generation gap that has serious implications not just for 20 somethings but for the rising generation of young people and for the evangelisation and reformation of the culture we are living in. Something must have gone wrong in our discipleship if 20s are not resilient enough to be connecting with church communities.

3. Children and Young People

We must be doing something wrong in our work as churches with  children and young people if we are failing to adequately disciple children so that their faith survives (let alone thrives) their 20s. As a Father I want to learn how to be more effective in working alongside my wife to play our role as disciplers of our kids and what that means for our wider church community.

4. The re-evangelisation of our nation

If we are going to see the every woman, man and child have the opportunity to hear and understand the good news of King Jesus we need to make sure that we have helped the church walk in Christ’s footsteps and be confident of the transforming power of the gospel. The fact that the church is at best flat lining in its numbers is a sign that we have not adequately discipled the church to live out and speak out the gospel.

5. The demonstration of the kingdom

I believe that we are called to live out the values and message of the gospel in front of a watching world. This should mean that we act as salt and light and transform the world that we are living in from decay to health and darkness to light. As someone once said:

“Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.”

 

What reasons have I forgotten?

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About the author: Krish Kandiah

Founding Director: Home for Good Executive Producer: Books for Life Vice President: Tearfund Tutor: Regents Park College, Oxford University

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