I met with 2 good friends today down at “Spinkys” a new cafe in Mullaloo opposite Whitford Church (great little spot!).
Mark, Colin and I discussed the ins and outs of turning people into disciples…whatever that means…the ‘turning’ bit grates a bit.
But any way, it was a great discussion. I love the way these guys think, willing to struggle with the complications of trying to do it all with integrity in a large church without creating a ‘cookie cutter’ mentality.
My main point that I was trying to make was that for years the way it has worked went like this;
- I manage to get someone into church or a ‘seeker’ event with the hope that those who were paid there would do ther job, preach the word and make a good appeal and get my friend saved.
- I trust that someone manages to get the card that my friend filled out to indicate his decision so that they can ring him up and arange the discipleship to he can get strong in his faith.
- I hope that my friend actually goes along to these discipleship classes the church runs and if he does not I sure hope someone follows him up, it’s so important you know. ( I got the guts up once to actually ask him, ‘are you going to class?’ – I’m a full on evangelist!)
- I hope that my friend manages to get through this class as it would open up the world of opportunities for him, the next class for more serious believers and then he would be able to go to leadership training classes and be a ‘full on’ leader like myself.
- Then we would be able to ‘hang out’ together coz we would have heaps in common (by then) and we would relate…
Dead set, being on the ‘staff side’ for so long, it often felt like that was what was expected. “Hey we pay you guys, now make this salvation/discipleship dance happen, if it looks good we will applaud and tell all our friends what a great system the church has to make disciples, if it fails we will at most ring and complain, and at least complain to everyone else and then leave”
This is not a go at the professionals, I am still one I guess, nor is it a go at anyone in the church, it’s a challenge to the system.
Wouldn’t it be great if we actually thought that my friends salvation, discipleship, faith journey, spiritual health was my responsability as mine may well become theirs one day? “ooooh but I’m not strong enough, don’t know enough, I pay them to do it!” Where does this come from? Maybe ‘church’ is for us as believers to grow and be developed as disciple makers and everything else is up to us to do outside the walls of church. No more seeker activities, events, etc run by church professionals. All that is up to ‘lay’ people. All we do and are involved in outside of Church Services is about relationally connecting people, not to bring them to church to get saved but rather embrace into my own circle of relationship, friends of faith and some not of faith, but to experience Christ in my own community. At some point they may well join me and my friends as we corporately join with others in worship and teaching and the celebration as believers come together…I’m not sure even if I agree with me here, just rambling, but it’s fun.