Does the Church Do Discipleship or do Disciples Become the Church?  

Posted by Mike Sharrow

Alan Hirsch emphasized recently that:

Christ followers need to reestablish their core task as making
disciples--discipleship. Discipleship, training others to follow Jesus, is such
a core task that we should not envision the church as having a mission of
discipleship, rather we should see the mission of discipleship as having a
church to support it.

Discipleship is important for several reasons:
1. discipleship determines the quality of spiritual movements
2. whatever substitutes for discipleship is what the church looks like (in
America, for instance, consumerism commonly gets substituted for discipleship so
instead of making disciples, we work to satisfy consumers)
3. leadership is an extension of discipleship; the type of leaders you have
is determined by the disciples you are making.

In summary, Alan said we need missionally responsive, culturally adaptive, organizationally agile, and multiplication minded disciple makers. These types of disciple makers will create a movement that was characteristic of the first century church as well as the church in China in contemporary times. Although many say there are no widespread examples of this type of movement in North America, some small group networks at least have potential to morph into a widespread disciple making movements. Do you see this happening anywhere? And, if not, why?

Interesting idea...When Jesus was commissioning His rag tag gang of followers, He used what in Greek is called an "aorist tense verb" for "Go" meaning that "While you are, as you are going" do these things. Make disciples. Baptize them - and teach them about Me! Everything else is gravy.

This entry was posted at Sunday, April 13, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 thoughts and responses


I couldn't agree more that discipleship is more than just "mission of the church". The effectiveness of a church's discipleship efforts is to an extent measurable by the multiplication of leadership.
P.S. You're the perfect man for the job. Under your leadership, Gracepoint may become that example in America which is needed.

April 24, 2008 at 8:02 AM

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