The Disciple-Making Factory is Closing

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?

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4 thoughts on “The Disciple-Making Factory is Closing

  1. Why do you need to be “dedicated to the call”? This is where the church has it wrong in my opinion. It’s not yours or their jobs to make disciples…God calls us. It’s your job to help us start and continue our journeys on moving towards Christ more. -my two cents

  2. I understand the Bible calls us to make disciples…but we don’t do that by actively “trying” to make disciples…we do that by being more Christ-like ourselves, and being a testament to God’s great love and power.

  3. I wish I could edit this…lol…one more thing…most of the time we’re not going to see the fruits of our labor or how many disciples we’re “making”…that’s where faith comes in that God will use our seeds to inspire others…
    Ok..I’m done now sorry. lol

  4. A great point Brittany. We are called to Christ, and to be Christlike so the world would know who God is. However, the DNA of the Christian faith entails both to be in relationship with God through Jesus as well as to invite others into that same relationship. Putting faith aside for a second…invitation has been a powerful force in my life. I got into hobbies, circles of friends, and even some bad habits because people said, “hey do you want to join me?” Invitation is powerful, but it doesn’t have to be manipulative. Sure, people have abused the idea of evangelism over the years, but I would say the proper response is not to throw aside the call to make disciples completely…it is to answer that call with more integrity and love.

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