I have been thinking about the idea of discipleship a lot lately and how much it is missing in our churches and everyday lives. In this blog, I am referring to discipleship in the terms of encouraging, training, and teaching other people. There are many places in the Bible that talk about teaching/training people, so why is this not a bigger deal to the body of Christ? I think it is mostly busyness, selfishness, uncomfortableness, and pride that tend to hinder us from discipling other people, specifically the younger generation. However, those are terrible excuses. We should be willing to set aside time to serve other people and to raise them up to be the next leaders. We should want the next generation to surpass us…to know more than we know, and to do more than we could ever do.
So what does the Bible say about discipleship? Here are a few verses…
- Ephesians 4:11-13 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
- 2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others
- Titus 2:1-8- You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live…Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children…Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
- Proverbs 27:17-As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17- All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that a man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- Hebrews 10:24-25- And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Discipleship is important for everyone. We all need people to encourage us and to teach us. We need people to help us grow and mature in our faith. There is a serious lack of discipleship occurring in churches, even within the church that I attend, and it needs to be addressed. We cannot be complacent about this issue any longer. There are far too many people getting lost through the cracks because they have not had strong Christian role models in their lives. There is a lack of Biblical knowledge, apathy among people, weakened families, weakened men, weakened women, weakened churches, spiritual gifts that are not being developed, etc. Where are the men and women that are willing to sacrifice their time to disciple and walk through life with younger people?
Churches can preach all day long about how strong families are important and how there needs to be a rise in strong Christian men and women, but if we are not actively doing anything to disciple the younger generation and help them mature in their relationship and knowledge of God, then these ideas are just that…ideas. And they will continue to be ideas until people act. I am disappointed by the lack of discipleship that I see in formal church settings. BUT I am ready to do something about it.
Much love, B