Why Aren’t Most Churches Making Disciples?

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The reality is we are all being discipled and every church makes disciples…the question is “what kind of disciple?” Some churches produce consumeristic disciples who are following the latest fad or who are being appealed to on the basis of their desires. Other churches are producing Christ-like disciples. There are churches everywhere in between.

There could be many answers to the question – Why Aren’t Most Churches Making Disciples? So I want to focus on one that I believe is extremely important to consider. Most churches aren’t making disciples because they have adopted a paradigm of church that is focused on church (aka the gathering) rather than on maturing believers to be better followers of Jesus in kingdom living.

If you focus on church you will not necessarily get Jesus but if you focus on Jesus you will always get church.

We adopt these consumeristic approaches for a few reasons:

1 – It is all we know. We have been handed a model of church that we perpetuate.

2 – It “works” from a business metric perspective. We got so good at gathering that we can draw a crowd, produce numbers, meet the budget, etc. Someone can be a successful preacher because they preach at a large church and they may not have discipled a single person in their entire ministry.

3 – Because we like it. It is nice to “go to church” and not have all the messiness of dealing with the hard areas of each others’ lives on a regular basis.

You will rarely to never develop solid disciples of Jesus by appealing to the things that draw a crowd.

You will rarely to never develop mature believers by producing goods and services that meet needs.

You will rarely to never develop healthy disciples if your metrics for success are derived from the business world.

Making mature disciples is hard work over a long period of time and it takes patience and dedication. You can’t sit on the back row and have this happen. You can’t not know anyone and make it happen. It is going to take relationships, time, solid teaching, consistent examples, and much more to see this happen and the way our churches are set up, those things aren’t happening on a regular and intentional basis.

Maybe it’s time we sat down and had a discussion about what our churches are producing, what our internal mechanisms are that are producing what we are producing, and look to see if the results and processes match Jesus’ kingdom priority.

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