Do We Over Complicate Discipleship?

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Some people have a lot of reservations about discipleship. I think it boils down to two things:

1) our church culture – We live in a time of experts. Ministry has been delegated or relegated to professionals. This means we expect ministry to be done in a particular way: on a quarter system, administrated by staff, have the best curriculum also written by a professional, etc. It takes less effort to make something complicated than to make something simple.

2) desire problems – our lack of desire to try/get started. In my worst moment, I believe I have waited for just the right approach in order to not have to do it. The curriculum wasn’t right or the plan wasn’t nailed down completely. It went undone.

The truth is if we wanted to do it we would just do it.

If we aren’t doing it, it makes me wonder if maybe deep down inside we just aren’t that interested in discipleship because it would shake things up and we have gotten really good at doing things the way we already do them. If we wanted to do it no one would stop us…but most of us never started.

For those of us in professional ministry, we have spent years and a lot of money to get good at the old system. Going a new route won’t be easy for us either!

What if we found out it really wasn’t that complicated? I doubt it would even change our desire to do it but it would mean the bar to get your foot in the door would be lower than we thought it was.

Here is how simple discipling and discipleship can be – Jesus is the teacher and the Bible is the textbook. We are fellow students helping each other learn along the way.

It is that simple.

It doesn’t take graduate education. People did this and are doing this around the world for many, many years without formal education. But that isn’t how we roll so instead of trying we freeze up!

It is also this simple – if you know how you were converted you should know the basic message to reach out to someone. What convinced you? What convicted you? What scriptures pierced your heart? What kind of people reached out? What was their approach?

You are more of an exert than you realized because you are in Christ already.

Most of the learning on how to disciple people won’t come from a book. It will come from time with people trying to disciple them. If you don’t try, you don’t learn.

Let’s not over complicate discipleship to the point no one does it. Let’s lower the bar and keep things simple. I hope this is an encouragement to you to go ahead and try.

2 Responses

  1. Great post! It always seems we want the most complicated answers whether it is at work, home, or church. But most of the time the “KISS” principle is sufficient! (I am assuming you know that principle, but in case you do not “Keep it simple!”)

  2. My take on this is to teach someone about integrity and how to respond to certain situations, like in the parables.

    What convinced you? I guessed I was supposed to be baptized.
    What convicted you? Not sure
    What scriptures pierced your heart? Psalm 23
    What kind of people reached out? old Jewish men, now of blessed memory
    What was their approach? Given any situation, here is what you should do and a lot on why it matters, even if no one is looking, and a question of how would you like to be on the other side. This was said to me quietly, not being judgemental.

    Jesus basically reiterated old Judaism as nothing I learned from the Jews on how to live contradicted what Jesus taught.

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