Back from a week off and feeling refreshed, and today I’m thinking about:
What does it look like to make a disciple?
It used to be that you could invite people to an event, and after a moving sermon droves of souls would come forward for an altar call and turn their lives over to God.
A disciple-making factory.
But that whole scene has kind of fallen out of favor after “evangelists” would report your conversion to their higher-ups before they actually learned your name. When the Church was starting out, people making the decision to become a Christian (as opposed to another religion) were baptized. Today we still institute the sacrament of baptism, most of us anyway, but sometimes it still lacks that “Oh my God you just became a Christian!” type of feel.
Now, I’m not one to view Christianity as a boundary that one must cross…and once crossed needs to be careful not to “slide” back onto the wrong side. I’m more of a journey, sojourn, moving towards Christ type of guy (see here for more explanation on that). But at the same time there is a definitive point where one becomes a Christian. I don’t believe that being a Christian is an abstract thing.
I think the balance is found in understanding and identifying where people are at, while giving people the freedom to be where they’re at. For example, if someone is “exploring Christianity,” we should celebrate that while still emphasizing that it is important reach a point where they can claim the name Christian.
All of that is theologizing. The question is: am I even dedicated to the call to make disciples? Where do I need to be patient, and where do I need to make the invitation for something greater?