Discipleship pitfall #2: All handsIn my last blog entry, we looked at the pitfall of the “all head” approach– trying to educate our way to making disciples. One common alternative to the “all head” approach is the “all hands” approach. Instead of just learning stuff, let’s get out there and do stuff!

But when we emphasize right behavior in a way that doesn’t take the heart into account and doesn’t teach people the “why” behind their actions, we end up with Pharisees. These were the people who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. They were not looking at the deeper meanings of healing or the purpose of the Sabbath. They were not feeling compassion for the men and women who were healed. All they saw was a rule violation.

Disciples made in this mold are often found out there doing morally good things. They are serving as social workers, feeding people, helping others, yet not introducing them to the bread of life. Why not? Because they have not been taught how to pray or how to cultivate their soul. Sometimes they don’t even fully understand the redemptive purposes behind the acts of service they are doing. Those pieces weren’t a part of their discipleship training.

We need to obey, yes, but we also need to understand the “why” behind what we are doing, so we have the right heart AS we obey.