villageJesus is the only one with all of the spiritual gifts. That’s why one-to-one discipleship often doesn’t work– at least not in isolation. The body of Christ corporately has all that a new believer needs to grow toward maturity.

Do you remember the charts years ago that showed how if one person discipled two people, and those two people discipled two people, you’d have the whole world won to Christ within a finite period of time? Why has that not happened? In part, because it takes all the spiritual gifts to bring someone to spiritual maturity. Jesus is the only one who has them all. Today they are scattered throughout the body of believers. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole faith community to raise a disciple. We can’t grow to maturity without interaction with the whole body and all the gifts. While one-to-one discipleship meetings can certainly be a part of that equation, if that’s all a new believer has they will be truncated.

Instead, point them to Jesus as the possessor of all gifts and someone they can learn to know themselves, and incorporate the rest of the body to teach and model the gifts each of them possesses. People develop best spiritually when they’re in authentic relationship interacting with a whole cross-section of the body of Christ. It takes a village… and it takes a church.