Category Archives: Discipleship

Is Our Focus on Paul Related to a Lack of Focus on Discipleship?

Here is where the word “disciple” occurs in the New Testament (NIV)

Matthew – 78
Mark – 59
Luke – 50
John – 81
Acts – 26

Here is where the word “church” occurs in the New Testament (NIV)

Matthew – 2
Acts – 19
Romans – 5
1 Cor – 22
2 Cor – 9
Gal – 3
Eph – 9
Phil – 2
Col – 3
1 Thess – 2
2 Thess – 2
1 Tim – 4
Philemon – 1
Hebrews – 1
James – 1
3 John – 3
Revelation – 12

The word “disciple” is never used again after Acts. The word “church” is only used twice before Acts.

So much of our study and teaching in Churches of Christ has centered on Paul. I think that is because we needed Paul. We needed Paul because for 200 years our discussions focused on church distinctiveness and our audience/conversation partners were people of other fellowships.

It is hard to prove much from Jesus in a discussion on how to “do church right.” You can go to Acts for that but mostly to Paul.

If Paul had used the word disciple as many times as it was used from Matthew to Acts I wonder if things would have turned out differently. I think that would have normalized it a bit more for our fellowship.

Our definition of Christianity needs to look at more than Paul. The issues we deal with in life need to be about more than church polity and getting church right. What does life in the kingdom look like? It looks like Jesus and the path to following Jesus is the path of discipleship. Jesus defines discipleship and so defines the church as the church is the gathering of disciples. You cannot have church without having disciples.

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapters 12-14 – The Divine Context

In the final context of “Discipleship that Fits,” chapters 12 and 13 talk about the most intimate and personal context a human being can enter – being in community with divinity. God knows all things. There isn’t anything one can hide from God. In this context, we “are laid bare before him, and he opensContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapters 10 & 11: The Transparent Context

The transparent context are groups of 2-4 people, which is a group size ripe for developing deep relationships that exude transparency and connection. It is impossible to grow deep if you don’t let people know who you really are. It is very difficult (impossible really) to do this in a room full of people orContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapters 8 & 9: Personal Context/Small Groups

The personal context consists of groups of 4-12 people. This would be a small group in most churches. This was embodied in Jesus’ ministry in his work with the 12. As the group size decreases the connectivity increases. Our ability to be more transparent goes up with fewer, better connected people in the room. BobbyContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship That Fits” Chapter 7 – Missional Communities Demystified

If you haven’t picked up on the rhythm of “Discipleship that Fits” yet, Bobby and Alex devoted two chapters to each of the five social-spiritual contexts. By way of review those include: public context, social context, personal context, transparent context, and divine context. These groups of people get progressively smaller as you work down theContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship That Fits” Chapter 6 – The Missing Link: Understanding the Social Context

We continue on in Harrington and Absalom’s book “Discipleship that Fits” moving into the Social context. These are groups of 20-70 people. It is not “big church” and it is not small group. It is an in between group and this size group is very important in the discipleship process. One of the most meaningfulContinue Reading

Want to Make Disciples? Start Here

It has taken me over nine months to figure out how to start a solid discipleship ministry. No. I got that wrong – it isn’t one more ministry. Let me try that again. It has taken me over nine months to feel adequate in my approach to launching into discipling relationships with some other men.Continue Reading

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapter 5 – What the Big Does Well

Chapter five in Discipleship that Fits covers the benefits of the Public context – the large gathering. Francis Chan and others have pushed to move away from this. What are we losing in the process? How can large gatherings be beneficial for the overall process of making well-rounded disciples of Jesus? One of the biggestContinue Reading

Review of “Discipleship that Fits” Chapter 4 – The Hoopla Can Actually Work

The book (Discipleship that Fits) now focuses on discipleship in various ministry context in terms of the group sizes outlined in chapter 3. In particular, chapter 4 deals with the Public context (100+ people) which in the West is generally the corporate worship setting. Bobby and Alex spend some time working through these contexts inContinue Reading

Churches of Christ Need an Aerosmith/Run DMC “Walk This Way” Moment

The iconic “Walk This Way” music video is a parable for a conversation that must go mainstream and I am determined to make that happen. We have to start chipping away at the wall and poking our heads through to hear what is being said on the other side. On one side – mainstream, programmaticContinue Reading

Follow

Follow this blog

Email address