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 in both Testaments and in the age to come. Then they work through how discipleship works in the public context.
The first goal of the Public contexts for discipleship is Inspiration. If discipleship was the focus of our large church gatherings imagine what sort of activities we would do together. We would tell the stories of the differences God has made in the lives of people over the last week, for instance. The worship with a larger number of people can inspire us to carry on, reminding us that we are not doing this alone or just with the people in our discipling group. There are hundreds, even thousands and tens of thousands of like-minded people all pushing the same direction.
Some want to give up on the large corporate gathering. It is important to realize what it is you are giving up when you make this move. Purposeful corporate worship can serve a vital role as one spoke in the wheel of discipleship.
The large context also allows expert teaching because a larger group is able to support someone who has devoted time and effort to teaching that you may not get in a house church or more intimate discipleship setting.
As I pointed out in a previous post, one of the mistakes we have made in the public setting is trying to do intimate things in a space where intimate things don’t happen – like the invitation/confession. Come down front and confess before 500 people many of whom don’t know you something you have done wrong! That is best suited for a much smaller, intimate group of people.
Big church still has a place but it must be purposeful.
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