The Challenge Of Discipleship
Discipleship is one of the greatest challenges in churches today. Without it, Christianity would just be an empty shell void of its true power. It is therefore an important area that churches today must constantly evaluate and make sure that it is properly implemented.
The first challenge of discipleship is the issue of it being neglected. With greater emphasis on world evangelisation, more resources and programs are geared toward reaching out. Rallies, social programs and even cell groups are designed to cater for reaching out rather than building disciples. Churches are spending more time thinking of ways to grow their attendance rather than thinking of ways to improve discipleship.
The second challenge of discipleship is the issue of it being generalized. Due to the emphasis on church growth, discipleship is usually left to the job of adult schools. They assumed that training in a classroom is discipleship. But more often than not, training usually inculcate knowledge rather than build character. Furthermore, not everyone is in adult school. There are still many who are not in adult school. Some churches assumed that discipleship take place at cell groups. Of course, there are churches with very good discipleship programs, but to some, cell group is a place to invite new friends to fellowship together only.
The third challenge of discipleship is the issue of control. Some church leaders are actually not discipling, but they are controlling. They want to poke into every issue that the disciples are facing. In the end, they just suffocate the disciples. On the other hand, there are those who do not bother about anything. The disciples are allowed to do whatever they want. The leaders focus more on preaching and conducting the sacraments. They do not confront the disciples with issues at hand.
The fourth challenge of discipleship is the issue of time. As everyone gets busier, people are not having the time for discipleship. The disciples are busy with their work and their leaders are busy with meetings. It is surprising how much time church leaders are spending on meetings these days. They have so many committees to be in, so many programs to coordinate, and so many visitations to make that they can only literally run the church but no time to disciple people.
The fifth challenge of discipleship is the issue of succession. When there is a lack of discipleship, there will also be a problem of succession. The leaders may be able to run the church very well, but the ministry may also perish with them when they die because they did not spend enough time in discipleship to raise the next generation of leaders.
The sixth challenge of discipleship is the issue of family. There are leaders who can run their churches well, but they did not spend enough time with their family. They forget that their families are part of the people they need to disciple. As a result, there is a lot of heart breaks in the family.
Discipleship needs quantity and quality time. We have to make it personal to be effective too. Every disciple is unique and therefore, what they need to be discipled is slightly different too. We need to be understanding and we need to build a loving and trusting relationship for it to work well. Hope that every person we bring to the Lord can be discipled to be a servant for the Almighty King. Perhaps, it is time for churches to cut down on the number of working committees and put in more effort to build structures for proper and effective discipleship. Everyone deserves to be discipled to his fullest potential in God.