Hell's Chokepoint

There’s a whole lot of talk about disciple-making and multiplication in church circles these days (a very good thing!).

Jesus told his followers to “Go and make disciples … ” in Matthew 28:19, and a big part of making disciples is teaching them to make disciples. As Lecrae raps, “I’m out to take the Bible, create disciples who make disciples, disciple cycles.”

Love it!

But, just like the invading Persians, discipleship multiplication has a chokepoint it must pass through if it is going to accomplish its goal.

That chokepoint is evangelism.

Put simply, if you can’t make a convert then you can’t make a disciple. And if you can’t make a disciple then you can’t multiply disciples.

“The Hot Gates” that every disciple multiplier must pass through is actually being able to lead a lost person to Christ.

But far too often, standing in the middle of that chokepoint is, not 300 well-trained soldiers, but an army of overused excuses (“I don’t have the gift of evangelism,” “Evangelism doesn’t really work in a postmodern culture,” blah, blah, blah), church leadership that isn’t willing to pay the price of bringing “those” kinds of people into the pristine building, and Satan himself.

I wonder how many pastors, youth leaders, church elders, Sunday school teachers and small group leaders can bring the good news up with an unbeliever naturally, explain the gospel clearly and give that person an opportunity to put their faith in Jesus in a loving and persuasive way. Unfortunately, my experience is that many can’t and that most don’t.

So what some church leaders have created is a culture that talks about discipleship multiplication, but defaults to a group of believers meeting weekly to talk about stuff from the Bible that they should already know and already be doing. This default brand of “discipleship” tends to be meeting-driven, inbred and not nearly messy enough.

True discipleship multiplication is always messy.