This blog entry is by guest blogger Steve Ogne, church planter coach and consultant with CRM. Steve and I worked together for a decade and collaborated on several projects together, including The Church Planter’s Toolkit. Steve’s most recent publication is TransforMissional Coaching: Empowering Leaders in a Changing Ministry World.
Most churches today, particularly in the United States, are in the “disciple-being” business. Our people are consumed by activities that reflect being good disciples: worship, prayer, spiritual disciplines, serving in the church, etc. Those activities are a great reflection of disciple-being.
Yet comparatively few churches are directly involved in what Jesus terms “disciple-making.” Disciple-making requires making new disciples. Disciple-being involves only existing disciples.
What did Jesus, with all of his authority, tell us to do in the great commission? He said to go and make disciples. To make disciples, we need to start with pre-Christians. Otherwise we’re just encouraging existing disciples. Think of it this way: If you want to make cookies, you don’t start with cookies– you start with flour, sugar, eggs, and such.
I recently spent time with a pastor and asked him to describe how his church goes about making disciples. He responded, “Everything we do is for making disciples.” Upon further discussion, it became clear that his disciple-making activities were actually disciple-being activities: they were geared toward people who were already disciples. Sometimes when everything we do is for making disciples, actually nothing that we do is for making disciples. He was quite challenged and hurt to hear that, but it got his attention.
My question for you: Are you busy disciple-being or disciple-making?