As I stated on Friday, I desire disciples not decisions and this is totally wrecking the way I view the Christian life and ministry in general.
I’ve been asking questions such as:
- How should I work as a pastor?
- What things should I be placing emphasis on in my ministry?
- How do I equip others to not focus on the decision and instead focus on the daily decisions they need to make?
- What does a mature follower of Christ look like?
- What does a new follower of Christ need to know?
And the thought that I get stuck on is: if there is no emphasis on a decision, how will I know if I’ve done my job?
You see, while I was in seminary (and somewhat in college), the professors tried to switch our focus from answering questions in multiple choice to answering them thoroughly in essay form. Their philosophy was that if you couldn’t discuss the material, you didn’t know the material. And I am concerned that in churches (and in my own life), we have placed an emphasis on multiple choice and not on discussion.
This should not be so. God is calling us to make disciples who can discuss the whole gospel and not just a four point memorization tool that means nothing apart from the continual saving faith that He calls us to.
God is stretching me to see that He desires for His church to grow in the form of discipleship (specifically through things like worship, evangelism, discipleship, giving, service, among many other things) and not just on a question that says “do you believe that Jesus died to save you?” (which is a me-focused and somewhat enigmatic question if not explained correctly). I was thinking over this thought and I remembered a book that I read a few years ago called The Great Omission by Dallas Willard where he simply said that we place too much emphasis on decision and not enough on emphasis on discipleship. If my memory serves me, he explained that we take to heart the Great Commission in the sense of asking for people to come to faith but we neglect what to do after they decide to follow Him.
I believe God is shifting my focus from how can I get all these people saved to how can I make them mature followers of Christ. You see, I’m becoming all about disciples and not about decisions.