Where is discipleship (training) taking place (most effectively) in your church?

In the services and/or Sunday School
15% (2 votes)
In small home groups
8% (1 vote)
One on one or a very small group
38% (5 votes)
Through agencies/groups outside of your church's ministry
0% (0 votes)
Individuals taking responsibility (reading, availing themselves of Christian radio, church opportunities, etc.)
31% (4 votes)
Gender-related ministries
0% (0 votes)
Other
8% (1 vote)
Total votes: 13
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There are 6 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

Many of us probably understand discipleship as the "teaching to observe all things" aspect of the Great Commission. We evangelize, we baptize, and then we teach. In this way, we make disciples. Yet we might argue that discipleship is ongoing. We never reach maturity in this life, we always need to follow more intently and deeply and to continue to obey.

By discipleship, we include concepts like the basics: how to pray, read/study the Bible, memorize, witness, disciple others, etc., and we also mean the ongoing quest for maturity, growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Is your church service, for example, geared toward discipleship and spiritual growth? Or your Sunday School? Or your men's or women's ministry? Do you do lots of one on one or small groups with the intent of helping disciples to grow as disciples?

Perhaps after conversion, you simply consider a believer a disciple (there is Scriptural warrant for that) and the terminology is pretty much dropped. Where are you at? Is the church gathered supposed to "disciple?" Please share your thoughts.

"The Midrash Detective"

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

When it's working well, it's the combination of most of the options there... As a minimum, there has to be good pulpit work and good one on one conversation going on... and some things in between are always good too. Hard to say which works best because none of them work well without the others.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

christian cerna's picture

I have not personally seen much true discipleship taking place in churches I have been in. I see a lot of hanging out, fellowship, bible studies, etc. But true discipleship- where an older, mature believer, trains/instructs a new convert until he arrives at spiritual/intellectual maturity- is severely lacking in most churches. It is a problem of both, there not being many older men that the younger men can emulate, and also the fact that modern man is repulsed by the idea of submitting to an elder, or being someone's disciple. There is this thinking in the Church- "As long as you are a nice person, and attend church regularly, then what you know/believe, isn't really important. As long as we all love Jesus and get along, we are OK."

Not many people are seeking truth or knowledge. So it is also difficult to feel free to give someone counsel.

Pastor Harold's picture

I think we need to regain the teaching pulpit and the teaching Sunday school. The pulpit has shifted to an evangelism tool and the SS to a fellowship outlet. These were not their original uses. So guess you know who the lone vote is on #1...

Ed Vasicek's picture

Pastor Harold wrote:
I think we need to regain the teaching pulpit and the teaching Sunday school. The pulpit has shifted to an evangelism tool and the SS to a fellowship outlet. These were not their original uses. So guess you know who the lone vote is on #1...

Your points are well taken. I agree these need to be content-driven. I would label a good pulpit ministry and Sunday School as a "general ongoing discipleship." Still, I think believers need an occasionally intensive time of learning to memorize, how to pray, how to read Scripture, etc., as well as some kind of mentoring. This can be done in Sunday School, for example. The word "discipleship" really implies an ongoing learner, memorizer, and one who propagates the content and know-how (2 Timothy 2:2). The idea of "trainee" comes to mind. I think we have never recovered (from the Roman church) the idea that the church meets to disciple us and give us opportunities to disciple others. That is not the only reason we meet, but a major one.

"The Midrash Detective"

christian cerna's picture

You are correct when you say that more time needs to be spent in memorizing scriptures. It is a lost art. We need to go back to a more classical form of learning, where more time is spend memorizing scriptures and meditating on them.