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6 Reasons Our Discipleship Strategies Miss the Mark

4. We don’t actually know what we will call success.

We can’t describe what a disciple will look like or how we’ll know when we’ve produced one. I am amazed at the simplicity of Dallas Willard’s words: “A mature disciple is one who effortlessly does what Jesus would do if Jesus were him.” See also, How to Make Disciples in Small Groups and 6 Essential Questions About Making Disciples and Small Group Ministry

5. We position discipleship as an extra credit endeavor.

Bill Hull points out in his excellent book The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ: “We evangelicals accept and even encourage a two-level Christian experience in which only serious Christians pursue and practice discipleship while grace and forgiveness is enough for everyone else.”

6. We believe discipleship is a curriculum to be completed.

We think discipleship happens in rows and is largely learning information and skills, while discipleship is “fundamentally about the choice to follow Jesus.” We think discipleship happens in 12 weeks or 36 weeks or two years, when as Bill Hull points out, “Discipleship isn’t for beginners alone; it’s for all believers for every day of their life.”