It's been two years since I began wrestling with our church's failure to effectively develop people into fully devoted followers of Christ. It isn't that we haven't tried. We've implemented several different components into our bag of tricks to help people discover their place the Church and the world. While we have had a few people excited embrace their relationship with Christ, more than a few are simply content to receive Jesus and with that have their sins washed away. They haven't grown much beyond that point. At least not in ways that are evident.
I started a new series in the book of Jonah last Sunday. In the midst of my preparation, I began thinking about Jonah's concern for his nation via patriotism and nationalism as well as his refusal to follow God's command to reach others who were not like himself. All of a sudden, it hit me. I don't know why it hit me then, but it did. As I looked at some practical applications, I thought to myself, "The problem is that we are working off of the wrong definitions. We are content to call ourselves Christians but we aren't disciples. Christian is a title; disciple is a lifestyle." I don't know about your church, but my church is filled with Christians, but we have very few disciples. I don't mean that as an insult. I'm not throwing stones. If there is anyone to blame, it's me. I have not led us well in the disciple-making process. We've created more decisions than disciples, more congregants than converts.
I've started reading Francis Chan's book, Multiply. I'm seeking to better understand how I can better develop Christ followers. I'm working through the idea that we aren't where we ought to be, but by the grace of God, we will get to where we ought to be.