Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
For approximately four years, a church which I attended was trying to develop a Discipleship Training Center. During our beginning stages, we polled the congregation to see what their experiences had been with Discipleship. To our surprise, the majority of them had no idea what discipleship was and the rest thought that Discipleship was synonymous with Evangelism. This misunderstanding was as prevalent among church leaders as it was among the laity.
For so many years there was a great emphasis on preaching the gospel and getting people saved but few were discipling those who got saved. Who of us would expect a newborn baby to raise itself? Yet we've expected new believers to become mature Christians without giving them the resources and support needed to succeed. No wonder there's so much confusion and spiritual immaturity in the Body of Christ.
I have been blessed to have a variety of discipleship experiences in my own life. I became a Christian and received some great discipleship through AWANA clubs. I had key individuals that would sit down with me one to one and walk through various topics of interest and/or need. I had another that fed me Scripture about things that were relevant to my life at the time. I went through a lot of Navigators material as a teenager and a young adult, and later in life, I went through some Campus Crusade materials. In discipling others, I have used various materials but most recently the Bill Bright's, "Ten Steps to Christian Maturity."
Personally, I think that we never outgrow the need for being discipled but if Discipleship is working correctly, it will lead to us discipling others.
I'm curious about the experiences that others have had in being discipled or discipling others. Will you share your story?