The Challenge of Creating Discipleship
It’s important for Christian ministers to consider the prospect of discipleship from a modern angle. As the march of technology moves ever forward, the landscape for Christian ministry is fraught with both new challenges and new opportunities. The essential question, however, remains the same: how do we as ministers fulfill Jesus’ mission by bringing new disciples to His Word?
This question is what keeps Christian ministers of all denominations up at night. Regardless of our differences, be they theological, philosophical, or denominational, we are all ministers who believe in the mission of Jesus Christ. Our function, thus, is to create more disciples to His teachings, and not only ensure a future for our churches, but to make the world a better place as well.
Unpacking the Difficulties and Importance of Creating Discipleship
The question of creating discipleship is at the core of all the other questions that keep Church leaders awake at night. How do we adapt our ministry to a changing technological landscape? How do we ensure a future for our Church? How can we reach those who aren’t aware of Christ’s teachings? How can we bring the Gospel to the dark places that are marred by the worst oppression and terror that man or devil can imagine?
At the heart of these questions is: how do we as Church leaders go about creating disciples?
As a generation of Christian leaders, we face a challenge that no other generation has yet had to face. The speed at which technology has advanced has led to cataclysmic cultural changes that none of us have trained for. Furthermore, the landscape is likely to continue to change at ever-increasing speeds. We must learn to adapt to that landscape, and yet most seminarians were never trained in the basics of creating discipleship, let alone adapting our methods to an ever-shifting landscape.
It means we must begin to understand the importance of integrating discipleship into our daily lives. But how?
Understanding the Importance of Family
While the 3DM movement is about creating disciples, it’s also true that a church must act as the soil from which a congregation grows. As Church leaders, we must create the right environment from which discipleship will grow. We can’t simply create a structure; we must also create a texture. The texture that we speak of is more perhaps more profoundly understood as family or Family on Mission.
As an analogy, it helps to understand the structure of discipleship as lyrics, while the texture of discipleship is the music. This means creating a family that is on a mission; a family that extends beyond mere blood relations to include more and more disciples. This is the fabric of discipleship that is so imperative to the future of not one church, but all churches, and even the Church itself.
We find ourselves in an age of technology where we’re paradoxically more connected to one another than we ever have been before, and seemingly more alienated at the same time. Everywhere the consumerism of the past generation is becoming less and less fulfilling for the present generation and everywhere that alienation from spirit and community is felt. And yet as Church leaders, this is precisely what we have to offer those in need, and those that recognize the need for Christ’s teachings in a rapidly changing world.
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