making church disciples or missional disciples

In a conversation I had recently with Tad Blackburn, one of the pastors at The Vineyard Church in Long Island NY, he used an interesting phrase: “becoming missional disciples instead of just church disciples.” He used that phrase to describe the change his church is making in the way they are going about discipleship.

Often we define discipleship characteristics by faithfulness at attending certain meetings, as opposed to living and loving like Jesus did. Yet the focus with true discipleship isn’t just producing people that function well within the church, but people that pursue the mission of Jesus. There’s often a significant difference.

Obviously, the goal of discipleship is to become like Jesus, to live and love like he did.  As we live in loving obedience to him, that means engaging actively in his mission.

As your church is following the great commission of Jesus by making disciples, consider what specific qualities you are aiming for. Are you making church disciples? Or are you making missional disciples?