Making Disciples

In many evangelical churches we are guilty of behavior that borders on false advertising. To outsiders we emphasize the advantages of becoming Christians and joining the church. These, of course, include peace, protection and fellowship in God’s kingdom.  We tell people how much God loves them and what a great price Jesus paid on the cross. However, we downplay the attitudes and behavior that God expects from them after salvation. We put pure living, loving your neighbor, tithing, service and forgiving others into the small print of the contract we call “church membership.”

One reason we do this is because we feel the need to play the numbers game. Numerical evaluation of our religious efforts demands converts and baptisms. These can be counted and reported. Since we cannot measure increases in devotion, obedience and spiritual maturity, we tend to largely ignore these when we explain salvation to the lost.

When the church emphasizes the process of becoming spiritually mature, it is making disciples. Because many churches do such a poor job of this, the daily life of their members is very much like the life of non-Christians.

Many of us are spiritually stunted. The degree of our spiritual growth is so slight that our Monday-to-Saturday lifestyle does not draw people to our Lord. Therefore, we must depend on the words of our pastor in a thirty-minute Sunday morning sermon to attract people to Jesus. God does not intend for it to be this way. We need to ask God what He wants us to do to help make our churches more efficient disciple makers.