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6 Red Flag Dangers Of Discipleship

by Jake Chambers

Warning: If you still believe discipleship is a weekly church program just for professionals, you might believe one of the 6 Red Flags in Discipleship below.  

Flag # 1 What: The goal is to make a copy of your self. “Yes the world needs more me. I need to make copies of me that are making copies of me.”

Truth # 1 What: The goal is to make copies of Jesus. I am not Jesus. I need Jesus. We need to repent of our self-righteousness and pride when thinking we are the finish line instead of Jesus.

Flag # 2 Where:  One-on-one meetings at a coffee joint. Surely if Jesus were here today he would schedule weekly one-on-one hour long coffee dates with each of his disciples. “Yeah I disciple Peter we meet at the Bucks for a mocha on Mondays (satirical Jesus quote not found in Bible).”

Truth # 2 Where: The church is the body of Christ, so disciples are saturated and made in His community. If the goal is making copies of Jesus, than the method must be to be in and around his body (the church), producing people that look like Jesus. Isolated discipleship produces random elbows and eyeballs and that is freaky.

Flag # 3 When:  Disciple making is done on a strict schedule after someone has become a Christian. Don’t worry about your actions right now; you are not in discipleship mode.

Truth # 3 When: All of life is discipleship and it begins at the point of relationship. Jesus used every opportunity as a discipleship opportunity and his disciples were unbelievers when he first came into relationship with them. All of life is a unique opportunity to point to Jesus as King. We have opportunities to rely on the gospel with patience in traffic, with service in our homes, with gentleness in tragedy, with celebrations in culture and more. Every human is making disciples of something or someone and every member of the body of Christ (the church) is to be making disciples of Jesus.

Flag #4 How: Give someone verses to memorize and a book to read weekly. Or you could just give them this blog.

Truth # 4 How: A deep communal reliance on the Holy Spirit as God himself is the only one that can make disciples of Jesus. God’s people (the church) model a dependence and reliance on the Spirit to make disciples in front of those we disciple. We must model a need for Jesus! Every moment is filled with opportunities to model gospel dependence or to repent of self-dependence. 

Flag # 5 Who: Pastors or paid staff in parachurch organizations. Better leave this to the professionals. Right?

Truth # 5 Who: Every member of Jesus’ body (the church) is to be in the business of making disciples! The local church are the people who are entrusted with the ministry of making disciples by loving one another with gospel talk and gospel walk.

Flag # 6 Why: Because you have to. That’s right this blog and the great commandment told you to.

Truth # 6 Why: For the glory of God and for our joy! We get to be who God created us to be – disciples living all of life to glorify Jesus. The great commandment is not the great burden, but a great joy and a natural outworking of believing the gospel.

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Over the last ten years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to almost 300 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries. Scott Thomas serves as president and director of the network, which focuses on the gospel and advancing the mission of Jesus through obediently planting church-planting churches. Founders and contributors to the Acts 29 movement include Mars Hill teaching pastor Mark Driscoll and lead pastor of The Village Church Matt Chandler.