Yesterday at the post office a staff person asked me the spiritual differences I saw in people while working in different parts of the country. My experience is that The Main Thing was missing the majority of the time in areas of greatest spiritual need. The main thing being discipleship within the church and of course without. Regardless of age, how long a person had been a Christian or if a person was a leader in the church or even on staff at a church, discipleship is missing. Discipleship does not happen from the pulpit or in a class room. Nor does it happen from reading a book, seeing videos or attending a conference. And without discipleship we lose vibrant Christianity. I find it both sad and appalling that we use church attendance, church volunteer work, teaching doctrine, or even worship and think that people don’t really need New Testament discipleship. We rip people off if we communicate discipleship is just for new believers and allow our consumer culture of the contemporary church to water down the radical nature of following Jesus.
What I have found most encouraging in NYC other than people coming to Christ is when people have been saved for many years, or leaders, or a pastors wife or a staff member of a church will have the courage, humility and hunger to say they have never been discipled but desperately desire it. This is the opposite of pride. And pride keeps many from the abundant life Jesus desires for us.
If you feel a fire burning in your soul when it comes to discipelship, you know what I mean.