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

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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.

Don’t miss the previous reviews here:

Introduction post for Discipleship that Fits
Chapter 1 – It’s a Journey: Reimagining Discipleship
Chapter 2 – You’re Not Cramming for an Exam
Chapter 3 – The Big Idea to Change Your View of Church

3 Responses

  1. Yep, I am back…

    Again I would ask you to reconsider the end-point of your thinking about relationship. The relationship we need to find is not a relationship with the risen Christ, but through the risen Christ with the One who raised Him.
    One of the (many) things Jesus modelled, was His relationship with the Father. His deeds, His words, His prayers, His obedience, His approval, His purpose – all directed towards the Father.

    His Father has become OUR Father. Jesus is our brother. WE are fellow heirs. WE are seated with Jesus in His throne as He is seated with the Father in HIS throne.

    The focal point throughout Scripture, Genesis through Revelation, is on God. It started with Him, and it “ends” with Him, where upon the overcoming of the last enemy, “When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”

    Why is it, that “our” focus is on the Son – who is the Reconciler – rather than on the Party to whom we are reconciled? Why do we have such difficulty with focusing on GOD because of the Son, rather than on the Son because of the Father?

    1. A few thoughts.

      First, I would encourage you to read the book. Maybe you have. That would be good for me to know so I know how much of the book you are familiar with – only what I have shared or the contents of the actual book.

      Second, I am not really in disagreement with your point as long as you aren’t also saying we need to make the Son any less important than He actually is.

      Third, I think a lot of terms consider God to be the trinitarian Godhead. So people talk about Jesus and are talking about God. If they talk about the Father they are talking about God. If they talk about the Spirit they are talking about God. If I focus on the Son as reconciler I am also recognizing the Father to whom He reconciles me.

      I think you are quite possibly making a distinction where there is little difference. The differences can be important but on a practical level I think most people flatten these things out. Maybe that is the problem.

  2. I would think that some things that would be done would include taking prayer requests and answering questions, even the difficult ones and not with simple answers. Today people face all kinds of ethical dilemmas and turn to any source they can find for answers. Meanwhile Christian scholars and clergy are often silent. I still don’t know why. People don’t even know who they are. Dr. Patrick Mead on his old blog used to answer the difficult questions from people who were so fearful of asking that they would not even put their names on the question. Martyrs would be periodically remembered and their actions described. There are many people who have died for the faith, both Jewish and Christian, whose actions should be remembered.

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